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Western New York, August 2002

Business Expansions

New this Month

Sportservice Corp. recently held a job fair to fill 100 food service jobs at the HSBC Arena in downtown Buffalo (Erie County).

FedEx has reorganized a global trading subsidiary and cemented Buffalo (Erie County) as its customs brokerage headquarters with an expansion creating 70 jobs. The company will have 710 employees at offices in Buffalo and the Town of Tonawanda after completing this expansion.

UPDATE: Casinos (Erie & Niagara Counties) Seneca Nation of Indian leaders have selected a union-friendly contractor to oversee the renovation of the Niagara Falls Convention Center for a temporary casino, the facility could be ready to open in January. On August 18, Gov. Pataki and Cyrus Schindler Jr. took another step toward opening Buffalo and Niagara Falls to Las Vegas-style casinos by signing the gambling compact. The signing of the gambling agreement between New York State and the Seneca Nation now thrusts the plan for Indian casinos in Buffalo and Niagara Falls into the jurisdiction of the federal government.

Fisher-Price will create 35 new jobs as a result of parent company Mattel locating a new operation in the Buffalo (Erie County) area. The operation will start October 1, and should employ 55 people by March 31.

A team of local economic development officials is preparing a list of potential sites and government incentives to keep National Fuel Gas, one of the region’s biggest employers, headquartered in Western New York. National Fuel, which employs about 500 people at its Buffalo (Erie County) headquarters, is being formally courted by Erie County, Pa., and has given some thought to relocating to Texas. The company has publicly declared its intention to relocate into a new headquarters with larger floors, on-site parking, and a campus-style setting.

Construction to replace the aging Tops Supermarket on Buffalo’s (Erie County) West Side has begun. The new supermarket will employ 35 full-time and 100 part-time workers when it opens next spring. Work will also begin on the first Tops store on the city’s East Side in October and the new store should open next June.

Business Contractions

New this Month

Trico Products Corp. vice president recently issued a statement that the company is considering the viability of the Buffalo (Erie County) plant and a possibility of closing it. The company employs 212 people at the plant. With these local jobs now in the balance, economic development officials say they’re ready to talk to the windshield wiper maker about any help they can provide to keep the plant open. A decision on whether to close the plant won’t come until November 1.

Ames Department Store (Erie County) is closing all of its 327 stores, including 18 in Western New York. The company filed for bankruptcy protection in 2001 and has struggled to turn the chain around. In Western New York, 458 full-time and 491 part-time employees will lose their jobs in about 10 weeks when Ames completes its liquidation.

More than 80 City of Buffalo (Erie County) employees are taking advantage of early retirement incentives. Many departments will be affected when dozens of jobs are left vacant.

Hundreds of Erie County workers who fix roads, process welfare cases, answer questions at the library and supervise those on probation are among those who won’t be replaced when they retire this year. At least 500 county employees indicated a desire to take part in the early retirement incentive program.

NCO Group of Pennsylvania has acquired the Great Lakes Collection Bureau Inc. (Erie County) collection agency, putting approximately 500 jobs here in jeopardy. The new owner has given layoff notices to part-time workers at Great Lakes, cutting about 100 jobs, while full-time workers have been told their jobs aren’t guaranteed after December.

Labor Disputes

New this Month

Nothing to report.

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