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Western New York, May 2009

Business Expansions

New this Month

Construction on a new recycling facility in South Buffalo (Erie County) is underway. Buffalo Recycling Enterprises LLC is building a new plant with plans calling for completion of the $ 15 million project and opening of the plant by July 1. Upon completion, the 80,000 square-foot building will house 40 to 45 employees on two shifts.

A large tract of former industrial land in Dunkirk (Chautauqua County) could be transformed into a commerce park that would brink the city at least 50 new jobs initially, and private sector-fueled investment. Krog Corp. was recently named designated developer on the 27-acre parcel has the potential to be one of the largest private sector-driven developments in Dunkirk in the coming months.

M&T Bank expects by the end of May to finalize its purchase of Baltimore-based Provident Bankshares Corp. As part of the $401 million acquisition, 520 jobs will be shed in the Baltimore area. At the same time, M&T has created 161 positions in the Buffalo area. About 95 of those positions are due to the acquisition.

General Motors is closing 1,100 dealers by October 2010 because they were not meeting performance expectations. New York State was one of the five hardest hit states with 266 dealers targeted. In Western New York, none of the area’s 26 GM dealers appears to have been targeted in the current round of cuts by General Motors Corp. Chryslers LLC is also planning to close dealerships nationwide. Only two dealers in the eight-county Western New York area were on the list.

A new outdoor winter park is under construction in the City of Niagara Falls (Niagara County). Snow Park Niagara Falls is looking to hire approximately 70 full time positions and 30 part time positions. The ice rink and the tubing hill are made out of synthetic materials, enabling them to be open all year round. The park will be opening in June.

Construction has begun on a $12 million methane-fired generator at the Chautauqua County Landfill in Ellery, a project that will put Chautauqua County on the cutting edge of green independence and technology. The methane power plant will produce more than 6 megawatts of electricity by burning methane gas from the landfill. Construction will take about 4 months to complete.

A massive project at Buffalo’s inner harbor (Erie County) will create 100 new jobs. $17 million in federal stimulus funds have been approved for construction of the Hamburg drain control facility. The project will upgrade the city’s old water treatment system and greatly reduce the flow of sewage that seeps into Buffalo’s new commercial slip. Constructions is expected to start this fall and take about 36 months to complete.

Wal-Mart Supercenters expansion in Western New York could create 2,000 full and part-time jobs. Plans are moving forward for supercenters located in Amherst, Lancaster, Lockport North Tonawanda, Evans and Orchard Park. Construction is already underway on relocated stores in Hamburg and Niagara Falls.

Business Contractions

New this Month

CSX Transportation announced it will cease all rail car processing and furlough 132 employees at Frontier Yard in Buffalo (Erie County) by the end of May. The latest cuts are in addition to the decision announced last month to eliminate the processing of six long-haul trains at the yard.

The Summit Park Mall in Wheatfield (Niagara County) will close in one month, after its new owner filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Tenants at the mall were told by mall management that the facility will be open through June 6, and that they have two months to clear out their leased space. About 200 employees work for the mall and its 25 tenants.

Husky Molding Injection will idle more than half of its 54 workers. The Buffalo (Erie County) operation will furlough 32 workers from the parts distribution center starting in late May. Additional layoffs will follow in August and October. A Warn notice has been filed with the NYS Dept. of Labor.

General Motors Corp. says it will temporarily close all or portions of 23 engine, transmission and parts factories across the U.S. for several weeks because vehicle-making plants will also be idled. The Tonawanda (Erie County) engine plant will be impacted, although at this time no specifics of the shut down schedule at the site is known. GM has previously projected that the engine plant’s production will be affected over a period of about two months. During that time, production in the entire plant or in just a portion of it will be idled, depending on the needs of the assembly plants it serves on a week to week basis.

DuPont plans to cut 32 positions at its local plants as part of a broader restructuring. The company will eliminate 20 jobs at its Niagara Falls (Niagara County) plant and 12 jobs at its Town of Tonawanda (Erie County) plant. The reductions are expected to be completed by June 30. Earlier this year, the Tonawanda plant cut 29 jobs under a separate cost-reduction move.

Midmark Corp., a manufacturer of veterinary and dental products, is closing its Orchard Park (Erie County) operation and shifting its work to Ohio, eliminating 80 local jobs. The transition is expected to be completed in 90 days.

Ultron Lift Corporation, maker of lift gates for trucks, is closing its Buffalo (Erie County) plant, putting almost 60 people out of work.

Labor Disputes

New this Month

Nothing to report.

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