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Western New York, August 2015

Business Expansions

New this Month

Ontario Knife Co., a manufacturer of knives and hand tools in Franklinville (Cattaraugus County) is continuing to hire a year after breaking ground on a $4.4 million expansion at its facility. The company plans to hire an additional 20 employees for manufacturing positions to add to its total workforce of around 70 employees.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held in Jamestown (Chautauqua County) on the National Comedy Center on August 1st. The $45 million project, which is expected to open in 2017, is projected to attract more than 114,000 visitors and have at least a $23 million immediate economic impact on the city. The 28,000-square-foot center will be based around the historic Jamestown Gateway Train Station, with formal construction beginning in the spring of 2016. The center will eventually employ over 200 full-and part-time employees.

Two medical marijuana dispensaries will be opening in Erie County as of early next year. PharmaCann LLC of Illinois plans to open a dispensary in Amherst and Bloomfield Industries of Staten Island will open in an unidentified location outside of Buffalo. The state Health Department approved a total of 20 dispensaries statewide under New York’s medical marijuana law. The dispensaries will be supplied by five production facilities around the state that are expected to open by January 2016. Bloomfield expects to hire about 25 people, including pharmacists for its location.

Dave & Buster’s, a restaurant and arcade, will be hiring 100 new workers to staff a new and bigger location at the Walden Galleria in Cheektowaga (Erie County). Positions that the restaurant is looking to fill include servers, bartenders and hosts.

The Buffalo Marriott HarborCenter hotel, the final piece of the $200 million HarborCenter project, is set to open in Downtown Buffalo (Erie County) by early September. The privately funded project by the Buffalo Sabres began in 2012. HarborCenter includes ice rinks, the (716) bar and restaurant, a Tim Hortons, four retailers and an 800-car parking garage. 125 new workers are currently in the final stages of training in preparation for the opening of the 205-room hotel.

The Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino is expanding. The Seneca Nation of Indians announced that it will build a two-story, $40 million expansion, adding more than 350 slot machines and 10 table games. Construction on the expansion is scheduled to begin in October. When completed, in early 2017, 300 more workers will be hired bringing the total number employed at the casino to 800.

Business Contractions

New this Month

After losing a contract with Fallon Health Weinberg, a managed Medicaid long-term care plan, the Weinberg Campus’s Menorah Licensed Homecare facility will lay off 47 workers. The Amherst (Erie County) location, which currently has 80 employees, will remain in business after the cuts take effect around September 15th.

South Buffalo (Erie County) steel bar plant Niagara LaSalle Corp. has filed a WARN notice with the NYS Department of Labor to close its manufacturing plant. The company sites economic reasons for the shutting down of the facility which will eliminate 49 jobs by the end of August.

NRG Energy will close the Huntley Station Tonawanda (Erie County) coal facility by March of 2016. The company has submitted a plant to the state Public Service Commission to permanently close the power plant, leaving 79 people without jobs. The company will also “mothball” its plant in Dunkirk as of January 1-laying off 56 workers.

TLC Health Care System has extended a layoff for its workers at is skilled nursing facility for the third time this year. The Chautauqua County health system has received a signed letter of intent from an unnamed buyer and are working to finalize the contract. For the past 18 months the health system, which includes the 175-bed Lake Shore Health Center in Irving, urgent care and outpatient clinics, has been operating under bankruptcy protection. The skilled nursing facility, located inside the hospital, has maintained a 20-bed unit. A layoff notice was filed in January, with extensions filed in March and June. The latest notice, filed this week, says 70 workers will be impacted by the layoffs between November 6 and November 19.

Labor Disputes

New this Month

240 members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Lodge 330 went on strike on Monday, August 10th at the Ingersoll Rand manufacturing plant in Cheektowaga (Erie County). The manufacturing plant designs and makes air and gas compressors. The two sides plan to resume bargaining talks as the strike continues.

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