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Western New York, November 2002

Business Expansions

New this Month

UPDATE: Casinos (Erie & Niagara Counties) Seneca Nation voters elected Rickey Armstrong, a pro-compact supporter, as their new president. There is a continuing legal challenge to block construction of the proposed Niagara Falls casino and other new gambling ventures across the state. Those challenging the law say it violates anti-gambling provisions and other key sections of the State Constitution.

Wilson Greatbatch Technologies (Erie County) plans to expand into Amherst and add 150 jobs as it keeps up with growth in the implantable battery market. Wilson Greatbatch expects to hire the additional manufacturing, engineering and operational workers over a three-year period. The company already employs 830 people locally.

The Erie County Sheriff asked the Legislature to fund more than 110 new positions in 2003, citing the lack of staff to supervise jail inmates, investigate computer-related crimes, and perform civilian administrative services. The Holding Center will absorb 70 of the new positions.

Capital Management Services (Erie County), a collections firm, plans to expand from 150 to 750 in the next year. Capital Management Services serves more than 50 local and national clients. The company hopes to employ 2,000 in the next five years.

Ford Motor Company stamping plant in Woodlawn (Erie County) is receiving $1.3 million in grants to help its employees improve their skills. The funds will be used to train the site’s 1,800 hourly workers in the techniques of lean manufacturing which cuts waste, lowers the amount of on-site inventory, and reduces defects.

Tops Markets (Erie County) broke ground November 21 on a store that will open in June and serve the East Side neighborhood of Buffalo. The $6 million project will create 100 jobs, 80 percent will be part time.

Business Contractions

New this Month

Ingram Micro, a computer wholesaler, will vacate one of its two office buildings in Amherst (Erie County) next year as apart of a company-wide cutback. Employees total about 1,300. In the past year, credit workers and sales and administrative jobs have been cut.

Carbide Graphite Group (Niagara County) will shut down on December 31, a victim of cheaper steel imports and a glutted global market. The shutdown will eliminate 200 jobs. The factory manufactures graphite electrodes for the steel industry.

Aqua Care Systems closed its Angola (Erie County) manufacturing plant abruptly in October and laid off 50 workers. The plant designed and made a range of filtration systems and equipment for processing water and wastewater treatment applications.

Outokumpu American Brass stung by continued weakness in demand for its products, is laying off additional employees. The North Buffalo (Erie County) manufacturer has laid off 67 so far in November including some layoffs that will take effect November 18-23. After the layoffs the Buffalo plant will be down to about 500 hourly employees and 200 salaried employees.

Labor Disputes

New this Month

Production at the two Carriage House facilities in Fredonia and Dunkirk (Chautauqua County) was shut down on November 19 after 550 employees voted to strike. Members of Local 266, National Conference of Firemen and Oilers, Service Employees International Union manned picket lines in both locations. The Fredonia plant makes jellies, jams, peanut butter, and other private label foods. The Dunkirk plant produces salad dressings and mayonnaise.

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