On Sept. 23, SolarCity Corp. shared plansfor what officials say will be the biggest solar manufacturing facility in the Western Hemisphere. And for Buffalo that means a significant construction project, plus billions of dollars in investment and the creation of thousands of jobs.
In addition to construction, manufacturing will need to hire replacements for thousands of area jobs in the coming years, as an estimated 17,000 manufacturing jobs will need to be filled in five Western New York counties by 2020.
Companies including Niagara Transformer Corp., Niagara Blower Corp. and Jiffy-Tite Co. are in various stages of major renovations, and plan to add staff.
Niagara Transformer, located in Cheektowaga, completed a 50,000 square-foot expansion earlier this year. New construction will begin there next year on a second, $10 million, 50,000 square-foot building next door to the existing new one. It will represent the next phase of the company’s three-phase expansion plan. The final phase will be construction of a 25,000-square-foot advanced manufacturing and design office. Niagara Blower Co. in Tonawanda, which manufacturers industrial heat transfer equipment, is wrapping up an 11,000 square-foot expansion.
Meanwhile, Lancaster-based auto parts manufacturer Jiffy-Tite would like to add R&D staff to fill out its newly-redesigned headquarters.