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Western New York, April 2016

Business Expansions

New this Month

The General Mills plant in Buffalo (Erie County) is in the process of purchasing new cereal processing and packaging equipment and upgrading its systems for unloading ingredients in the hopes that the cereal manufacturer will be selected to be the next producer of Corn Chex and Honey Nut Chex. The local factory currently produces Cheerios products. To support the $25 million project, the New York Power Authority has approved a $500,000 grant, the Recharge NY program has provided low-cost hydropower and electricity and $500,000 in tax credits from Empire State Development. The upgrades will help to further secure more than 400 existing jobs.

 Another movie is set to be filmed in Buffalo (Erie County). Pre-production of the movie, which focuses on Thurgood Marshall, the first African American to sit on the Supreme Court, is currently underway. The production company is expected to provide more than 400 temporary jobs including crew and extras and will generate millions of dollars for the local economy.

Big Ditch Brewing Co. , a craft beer brewer in Buffalo (Erie County) is receiving a low-interest loan of $500,000 from the Erie County IDA’s affiliate Regional Development Corp. The loan will allow the company to triple its brewing capacity and add a canning line that will allow it sell its product at grocery stores and beverage centers. The $1.1 million expansion will create 10 new full and part-time jobs and secure the 54 part-time jobs at the brewery.

Although the agreement still needs to be formalized, IBM Corp.’s Innovation Center in downtown Buffalo has been notified that it has been selected to receive a contract to provide technical services and support to state agencies. The state support center would be located on the seventh floor of the Key Center’s south tower where the company also operates a small data center. The contract would bring roughly 100 jobs to the center.


Business Contractions

New this Month

Buffalo Cardiology & Pulmonary Associates Inc. in Buffalo (Erie County) filed a WARN notice with the New York State Department of Labor indicating they will be closing their practice on May 20th. The closure of the medical practice will affect 119 staff, citing economic reasons for the closing.

AVX Olean Advanced Products in Olean (Cattaraugus county) plans to close its manufacturing operations within the next year, eliminating 83 jobs. The company, which makes ceramic capacitors, will shift its production to South Carolina where it operates another plant.


Labor Disputes

New this Month

Nearly 40,000 Verizon workers from facilities from Massachusetts to Virginia, including about 725 in Western New York, went on strike as of 6 a.m., Wednesday April 13th after a deadline for a new labor agreement passed. The strike, involves members of The Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Call center staff, technicians, installers and other jobs will be affected. Negotiations have been ongoing between the unions and Verizon for 10 months with little success. The current contract expired August 1st of last year. Besides the active workers, about 89,000 retirees are also affected by the contract talks. This is the third walkout at Verizon in the last five negotiating efforts. 

 Members of SEIU 1199 at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center in Niagara Falls (Niagara County) have come to an agreement on their union contract on April 13th. The 3 ½ year agreement covers around 620 staff members including nurses, maintenance workers and technicians and includes wage increases and other benefit enhancements over the life of the contract.

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