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Western New York, June 2009

Business Expansions

New this Month

Affiliated Computer Services is hiring 65 people at its Niagara Falls (Niagara County) customer care center to accommodate increased business. Hiring is underway and new hire training begins in early July.

Greatbatch Inc. in Clarence (Erie County) formally opened its new $10 million headquarters and research center on June 3. The expansion has brought about 60 new research and engineering jobs to the region.

Goodyear Dunlop Tires North America is contemplating transferring rubber making into its Town of Tonawanda (Erie County) plant within a couple of years. The work is currently being performed at a Goodyear plant in Akron, Ohio. Steelworkers at that site this week approved a deal involving buyouts. The transfer could bring about 60 jobs to the area.

Iqor plans to hire about 50 entry-level call-center employees for its Cheektowaga (Erie County) location by the end of August.

Budweys opened its new grocery store in Newfane (Niagara County). The store employs 95 people, including 20 full-time positions and 75 part-timers.

Kemper System Production Inc. has selected a West Seneca (Erie County) site for an expanded operation that will bring new manufacturing jobs to the region. The New Jersey based company produces waterproofing and roofing membranes. The firm will hire 10 people initially, and hopes to add another 30 in the coming years.

Yogen Fruz, the world’s largest frozen yogurt chain, plans to open 15 new stores in the western New York area. The first is two are scheduled to open this summer and will create some two dozen jobs.

State, local and company officials announced that Internet giant Yahoo! has selected the Town of Lockport (Niagara County) to build a massive $150 million data center in the town industrial park. Plans call for a two-phase construction and will create an environmentally friendly “green” facility. The first phase will create 75 jobs in exchange for receiving 10 megawatts of low-cost power. Construction on that portion of the project, consisting of office and data center space, is expected to begin in August and be completed in time for the facility to be operational by May 2010. The second phase, expected to begin in spring 2012, would receive 15 megawatts of power and create another 50 jobs. In addition, about 250 short-term construction jobs will also be created.

Business Contractions

New this Month

The General Motors Corp. engine plant in the Town of Tonawanda (Erie County) will remain open after GM filed for bankruptcy protection on June 1st, but is facing layoffs of 25 to 30 percent of its workforce. The phase-out of two engines will impact the site’s work force of 871 people. Based on estimates, from 218 to 261 of the plant’s current workers could be affected. An additional 361 hourly workers are already on layoff.

Ford Motor Co. reduced the work force at its Buffalo Stamping Plant in Hamburg (Erie County) by 39 positions. Seventeen workers were placed on indefinite layoff, while 22 left through the automaker’s voluntary separation program. The layoffs are part of the company’s ongoing effort to align its production with market demand. The reductions bring the Ford plant’s current employment down to 720.

GM’s Tonawanda (Erie County) engine plant has suspended normal production on June 8 and is not expected to resume work until July 13. Production will resume for one week starting July 13. Production will be suspended for an additional week starting July 20. The extra week shutdown is related to adjusted schedules at an assembly plant in Ohio. About 500 factory workers and 140 salaried personnel are affected by the six-week shutdown. Delphi Thermal Systems in Lockport (Niagara County) has also suspended regular production at its plant between June 29-July 13. The plant has 2,100 employees.

The Ford Motor Co.’s Woodlawn (Erie County) stamping plant continues to feel the impact of the slump in U.S. auto sales, adding another round of layoffs at the plant. Eighty-Seven workers are expected to get layoff notices later this month and in early July as the plant adjusts production to meet the needs of the assembly plant in supplies in Ontario. 12 skilled trades workers are expected to go on indefinite layoff on June 29, followed by 75 hourly production workers on July 6th.

Sperian Protection Group, a French maker of gloves and other body protection gear, is shutting its Cheektowaga (Erie County) plant and cutting 55 jobs as it moves production to a new lower-cost plant in China. All employees will lose their jobs starting September 5th. The company has applied for Trade Adjustment Assistance form the Department of Labor, which can provide funds for education and training of workers who lose jobs because of increased imports.

Mod-Pac Corp. is cutting 23 local jobs as the Buffalo (Erie County) printing company pulls out of its slumping specialty print and direct mail market. The company, which had about 400 employees before the cuts, will focus its operation on its growing custom folding carton business, as well as its stock packaging and personalized print products.

Labor Disputes

New this Month

Nothing to report.

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