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Western New York, May 2015

Business Expansions

New this Month

The city Planning Board gave its approval and work can now begin on the conversion of the former AM&A’s store complex in downtown Buffalo (Erie County). The $50-$70 million project will transform the long-vacant 375,000-square-foot building into a 300-room hotel for Chinese tourists with two restaurants, one a high-end Chinese restaurant operated by the investors and an American-style eatery on the first floor, plus 6-8,000 square feet of retail space. Officials are still in the process of selecting asbestos cleanup firms, but the project is slated to be completed by December 2016.

A new 945-square-foot Checkers hamburger restaurant, with a drive-thru and walk-up window has been approved by the Buffalo Planning Board. The new restaurant on Elmwood Avenue will be the fifth Western New York location for the Tampa, Florida-based company.

One Touch Direct, a call center in Orchard Park (Erie County) expects to add hundreds of new jobs in the next two years. The Tampa, Florida-based call center currently employs a little more than 100 workers at the site.

Aldi’s grocery store is hosting a job fair event on May 29th at its Tonawanda location to hire up to 25 employees for its Buffalo-area stores. Locations include Amherst, Buffalo, Cheektowaga, Depew, East Amherst, Niagara Falls, North Tonawanda and Williamsville. Store associates will earn an hourly wage of $11.85 an hour.

Auto parts manufacturer McGard Inc. is expanding its manufacturing and warehouse space at its Orchard Park (Erie County) facility. The 75,000-square-foot, $9 million expansion will create 30 new jobs at the plant.

The Rainforest Café is set to open in Niagara Falls (Niagara County) on June 3rd. The restaurant and attraction will have hired 200 part-time, full-time and seasonal employees by the opening date.

Business Contractions

New this Month

Gildan USA Inc., the parent company of the New Buffalo Shirt Factory is closing its production facility in Clarence (Erie County). The plant, which employs about 90 workers, will close around August 1st of this year. The workers will receive severance packages and assistance in seeking new jobs.

Niagara Lasalle Corp. will close its steel bar plant in South Buffalo (Erie County) on July 31st., eliminating 49 jobs. The company, based in Indiana, cited economic reasons as the reason for closing the facility.

Uni-Select USA, an automotive parts company with a warehouse in the Town of Tonawanda (Erie County) plans to down local operations this summer. The company has closed nearly a dozen facilities this year, and will close its local operations by the end of August. The 33 workers affected by the closing are represented by Teamsters Local 449.

Labor Disputes

New this Month

560 Workers represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers , including about 215 at the Niagara Power Project in Lewiston (Niagara County), have a new contract with The New York Power Authority. The Power Authority’s board of directors approved the new deal which will be retroactive to April 2011 and run through March 31, 2019. The contract includes wage increases and will require union members to increase their contributions to the cost of their health insurance.

Members of 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East at Sheridan Manor Nursing Home in the Town of Tonawanda (Erie County) approved a new two-year contract. The deal, retroactive to July 2014, covers 80 workers who are certified nursing assistants, licensed practical nurses and unit clerks.

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