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Western New York, November 2009

Business Expansions

New this Month

The Seneca Nation of Indians broke ground near Cuba (Allegany County) on its Oil Springs Territory for a new One Stop gas station and convenience store. The business is expected to generate 25 jobs and be open by Memorial Day 2010.

Robinson Home Products is growing in Cheektowaga (Erie County). The kitchen tool and gadget distributor has made a 30-year deal to make and sell Oneida-brand flatware and dinnerware for all consumer markets in the United States. It plans to add 88 jobs.

K-Technologies Inc., a manufacturer of electronic and electromechanical components and systems, is moving its operations to a new location in Hamburg (Erie County) in January 2010. The acquisition of a Boston, Mass. Based circuit board manufacturer and new building are part of an expansion that is over $3million. The company plans to hire 32 professionals, engineers, assemblers and testers over the next five years.

Goodyear Dunlop North America Tires in the Town of Tonawanda (Erie County) will add to its workload after a sister plant in South Carolina closes at the end of the year. Specifics related to the production shift are still being finalized. The plant currently has more than 860 hourly workers.

After years of delay, ground was finally broken on the area’s newest ,b>Walmart store in Lancaster (Erie County) on November 17th. The $10 million project calls for a 150,000 square foot supercenter and will bring up to 350 jobs to the area.

House of Munch, a new restaurant in the Walden Galleria Mall in Cheektowaga (Erie County) opened October 29th. 20-30 employees are expected to be hired.

Three post offices in Buffalo and Lackawanna (Erie County) have been removed from a national list of post offices being reviewed by the U.S. Postal Service for potential shutdown. Closures of post offices have been considered nationwide in response to a decline in mail deliveries.

Fifty-two firefighter recruits for the City of Buffalo (Erie County) received their badges at a special ceremony November 20th and will be reporting for duty this week. This class is the first in seven years for the Fire Department and among the largest. The addition of the 52 firefighters will help fill more than 70 vacancies in the department.

Racer Machinery International, a Canadian machine tool company, is planning to move its factory to Wheatfield (Niagara County) from Canada, bringing 15 to 20 new jobs.

Viatran Corp. broke ground November 13 for its new plant; moving from Grand Island to Wheatfield (Niagara County). The company makes pressure and level management devices and is bringing in 45 jobs and expects to add 30 more.

Business Contractions

New this Month

Buffalo-based New Era Cap Co. is cutting back its U.S. manufacturing and will soon choose which one of two manufacturing plants to keep open-in Derby (Erie County) or Demopolis, Alabama. The company will be shutting two other plants in Alabama in early 2010. The Derby facility has 334 workers, about 30 percent of whom are on layoff. Workers are represented by the Communication Workers of America.

Continental Automotive Systems AG’s plant in Elma (Erie County) is closing, following three years of winding down operations. Production at the facility, which made sensors for the automotive engines and transmission controls, ceased the first week of November. The company announced in November 2006 that the plant, which had 380 employees, would close by the end of 2009 as part of a realignment of its North American operations. Customers of the company include General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC. A couple dozen employees will continue working through the end of the year.

The exclusive supplier of game jerseys for the NBA is moving all of its production to Asia. American Classic Outfitters in Buffalo (Erie County) also manufactures game jerseys for several NFL teams, including the Buffalo Bills. Adidas, the global sportswear company, notified the factory about six weeks ago that it was canceling a contract that began in 2008 and was supposed to run through the end of 2010. The closing of the plant will idle 100 employees.

Quality Markets parent company Penn Traffic has filed for bankruptcy for the third time in a decade and will close 13 grocery stores in Western New York by mid-February 2010 if a buyer for the locations is not found. Close to 700 jobs at these stores are in jeopardy.

St. Francis of Buffalo (Erie County), a 120-bed nursing home in North Buffalo (Erie County), will close at the end of the year amid financial losses. Catholic Health Systems is looking to place the residents and as many of the facility’s 180 workers at other locations across the system. The exact number of layoffs is not known at this time.

Kaleida Health plans to close the Waterfront Health Care Center in Buffalo (Erie County) next year to stem a projected loss of $2 million if the facility was left open. The nursing home can accommodate as many as 160 long-term residents and employs about 200 workers who are represented by Local 1199, Service Employees International Union, United Healthcare Workers East. The nursing home is waiting for formal approval from the state on its closing plan.

Labor Disputes

New this Month

Hourly workers in the Town of Tonawanda (Niagara County) will receive annual raises over the next three years under a new contract that was approved by the Town Board. The contract applies to slightly more than 200 employees represented by the Hourly Employees Association of the Town of Tonawanda, including the Highway, Youth, Parks and Recreation, Water and Sewer Maintenance Departments. The contract runs from January 2009-December 2011.

Three City of Lockport (Niagara County) unions have ratified groundbreaking new labor contracts that may save the city hundreds of thousands of dollars. The city’s blue-collar union, the department head union and the police union contracts are all retroactive to January 1, 2008 and will expire at the end of 2012. workers.

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