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Western New York, March 2014

Business Expansions

New this Month

Niagara Transformer Corp is looking to hire up to 15 skilled manufacturing workers as it completes a three-phase, $15 million expansion. The company, which manufactures power conversion control equipment, is working with the New York State Department of Labor for referrals to fill the positions.

AMS, a residential mortgage services is expanding and moving its operations from Depew to Elma (Erie County). The company, which currently has 270 employees, is already hiring and plans to hire 88 new full-time employees over the next year. Over the next five years, the company hopes to add almost 250 new jobs to its new site.

Nova Steel Inc., an international steelmaker from Lasalle, Quebec in Canada, has been scouting sites in both West Seneca and Hamburg (Erie County) for a planned production and distribution center. The company is seeking a 20-acre site with rail access and specific soil conditions. The company is planning to invest as much as $50 million and create at least 50 jobs initially. A decision is expected by this spring.

Niagara Hospice is planning to convert the former Shipman

Printing Plant in Wheatfield (Niagara County) into a retail store and headquarters for its home care and Medicaid case management programs with help from a federal loan. The 18,000-square-foot plant will be converted into a location for Liberty Home Care and also a new Hospice subsidiary to be called First Choice Health. Liberty Home Care, which already employs 15, will add 10 new jobs, and First Choice is expected to employ 25-30 within three years.

Trinity Packaging Corp. $6.5 million expansion project received a boost from the New York Power Authority with a low cost hydropower allocation. As part of the agreement with the NYPA, the manufacturing company will retain 129 jobs and create 21 new positions.

SolEpoxy, an Olean (Allegany County) company that makes molding compounds and insulating coating powders received a low cost hydropower allocation from the New York Power Authority for a $2 million project that will retain 55 jobs.

Global Spectrum, the Philadelphia-based subsidiary of Compact Spectator that will be running operations at Canalside, is hiring at least 25 full-time positions in Buffalo (Erie County). Job openings will include administrative jobs, as well as maintenance and grounds-keeping. The company will also be adding part-time staff, seasonal staff and interns to handle specific events.

Business Contractions

New this Month

General Motors in Tonawanda is placing its second shift employees on layoff for one week due to declining auto sales. The company has stated that the layoffs are only temporary.

ConAGra, a factory that makes private-label condiments, sauces and a variety of beverages, will be closing its Carriage House plants in Dunkirk and Fredonia (Chautauqua County) which will result in the loss of almost 400 jobs. The union has stated that the closings will be done by department with a final closing target of February 2015.

RHI Monofrax, a maker of fusion cast refractories primarily used in the glass industry, has laid off more than 70 workers at its Falconer (Chautauqua County) plant due to slow business that has been affected by foreign competition. The plant has also temporarily shut down it furnaces, which adds to the concern that the facility may be closing. The plant’s owner has indicated that he does not intend to close the facility and that many of the laid-off workers will be recalled next week for normal production.

Labor Disputes

New this Month

A federal mediator has joined talks between union workers and management at the Community Health Center of Buffalo (Erie County). The nonprofit federally qualified health center employs a total of 130 full and part-time employees who are represented by 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East.

The Visiting Nursing Association of Western New York has reached a tentative labor agreement with the Communication Workers of America Local 1122. The new three-year contract covers nearly 600 employees.

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