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Western New York, May 2007

Business Expansions

New this Month

General Motors Corp.’s Town of Tonawanda (Erie County) engine plant has made a formal bid to land production of the newest in GM’s lineup of engines, a 4.5 liter high-output diesel, a move that would broaden the plant’s base of business. Landing the engine would not add jobs, but it would secure 150 positions and heighten the plant’s importance within GM. Production of the diesel engine would start production in October of 2009, if the Powertrain Division is selected.

Reversing an earlier decision, The Jewish Community Center of Greater Buffalo’s board of directors has opted to keep its Getzville (Erie County) site open for three more years. The JCC had announced in April that it would shut down the facility by Labor Day as part of a long-term strategic plan aimed at strengthening the organization’s finances. With this new plan, the nonprofit organization will continue to aggressively pursue planning, funding and construction of a new facility in the Northtowns to replace the current site. The center employs 125 people, 25 of which are full-time positions.

Business Contractions

New this Month

Bush Industries will close its plant in Little Valley, (Cattaraugus County) completing a year-long process of consolidating its manufacturing operations after declaring bankruptcy nearly three years ago. The Little Valley facility, a satellite plant for the Jamestown-based company, manufactures specialty parts for Bush Industries ready to assemble furniture. Half of the plant’s 100 employees will be offered the opportunity to transfer to Jamestown. The impending closure process is expected to take six months.

Ruby Tuesday has closed its Walden Galleria restaurant in Cheektowaga (Erie County).

Kane Doyle Jeepin Kenmore (Erie County) will close at the end of this month. The dealership is the region’s last standalone Jeep franchise. Most of the store’s 22 employees are expected to be absorbed by other Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge dealers in the area.

Labor Disputes

New this Month

A new contract proposal has been sent to the Buffalo Police Officers Union (Erie County) in hopes of lifting the wage freeze on officers. The mayor of Buffalo announced that he plans to resume talks with the union as part of a long-term goal to lift the wage freeze affecting all unions. The new budget has set aside $8.8 million in state funds to be used to finance new contracts.

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to review a case involving the Buffalo Teacher’s Union (Erie County) to lift a wage freeze, meaning that the three-year-old freeze will remain in place.

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