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Western New York, September 2011

Business Expansions

New this Month

Premier Wines has sold its flagship store site in the Town of Tonawanda (Erie County) to Len-Co Lumber. The new location will be the third for the local lumber company. The new store will employ about 15 people.

UnitedHealth Group, the nation’s #2 health insurer, is hiring another 75 employees in the Town of Tonawanda (Erie County) by the end of the year, bringing its total employment at the facility to more than 500. The company has already hired 125 workers this year.

Cascades Inc. broke ground on a facility that will produce lightweight liner board from 100% recycled fibers in Niagara Falls (Niagara County). The Cascades Greenpac Mill will cost $430 million and will provide 300 construction jobs until completion in 2013. Once opened, the ‘green’ plant will provide over 100 new jobs.

The Statler held job interviews in September for 200 positions that needed to be filled. Positions include servers, management and security.

Save-A-Lot food stores will add two new locations in the area. A 13,000-square-foot store is expected to open by the end of fall in Cheektowaga (Erie County) and a 9,000-sqaure-foot location in Buffalo (Erie County) by early 2012.

M&T Bank Corp. is seeking to fill 285 positions in Buffalo (Erie County) and is already recruiting through ads and other promotions. The positions include auditors, clerks, credit and fraud analysts, tellers, administrative assistants, managers, supervisors, salespeople, loan originators, and telephone representatives. The company held a job fair on Saturday September 24.

Amid the turmoil with HSBC Bank, several area banks are hiring. Despite its branch sale and job cuts, HSBC has 25 openings in the Buffalo area. First Niagara Bank currently has 86 open positions in Erie and Niagara County, and pledged in May to fill more than 500 jobs in upsate. Bank of America has 17 openings, KeyCorp and Evans Bancorp each are have 18 positions to fill.

Time Release Services Inc., a Buffalo (Erie County) company that makes compressed foam products is receiving a $300,000 grant to support a $3.5 million expansion that will create five permanent jobs with the company. 15 temporary workers will also be hired. The project, which should be completed by December 2012, will have 64 permanent workers when finished.

The strong Canadian dollar and the new stores are boosting sales at The Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls (Niagara County). Currently the mall has more than 200 job openings to fill.

K-Technologies, a small business in Hamburg (Erie County) is growing. The company specializes in serving customers in military, space and medical applications. Currently K-Tech has 37 employees, and hopes to double over the next few years.

Business Contractions

New this Month

Ford workers in Hamburg (Erie County) will begin receiving their pink slips on September 12. The 150 UAW workers are being laid off because of a plant closing in Canada.

The U. S. Postal Service facility on William St. in Buffalo (Erie County) could close as a result of a recent study. The processing center employs 700 people. Since Postal Service union contracts contain no-layoff clauses, the potential for large scale transfers and other job changes lies ahead. The possible closing here stems from upgrades in processing facilities in Rochester and Elmira, prompting postal authorities to consider the move.

Bryant and Stratton College announced that they will not be moving into an old building on Main St. in Buffalo (Erie County) as previously planned. The college was supposed to lease 3 floors of the vacant building, but lower than anticipated enrollment led them to pull out of the deal.

Labor Disputes

New this Month

The United Auto Workers are voting to authorize a strike if necessary at the Ford Stamping Plant in Woodlawn (Erie County). Their current contract ends with Ford on September 14.

Unionized factory workers at General Motors Co. in Tonawanda, (Erie County) have overwhelmingly approved a new four-year contract with the company. The contract will include bonuses, profit-sharing and other payments, but no annual raises.

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