A Canadian company is bringing new jobs and a new distribution hub to Western New York. Electro Sonic packed up its distribution operation in Toronto last winter and now that distribution center is up and running in Tonawanda.
The brand new 65,000 square-foot state-of-the art distribution center bustles with 50 new local hires as they fill orders for all types of electrical components. The orders then ship from Electro Sonic's new hub in the Riverview Solar Technology Park in Tonawanda to all across North America. "Any order received tonight here by 7:30 will get tomorrow delivery," Electro Sonic President Eric Taylor tells the assembled crowd at the grand opening celebration.
Electro Sonic is not a new company, but its presence in the United States is new. The company has operated from Toronto for nearly 60 years, but changes in business and developing technologies had the owners looking for a new distribution location. "We wanted to re-automate and expand and we looked at various locations and late last year we chose Tonawanda, and we did look throughout Ontario and throughout the other regions," says Taylor.
Tonawanda's close proximity to the Canadian border and the area's skilled available work force proved to be keys in luring Electro Sonic. "We looked for I.T., we looked for a manager, we looked for asset, we looked for product, we looked for sales... just an incredible array of people who were there, eager to work, and that's been one of the most rewarding parts of the journey," says Taylor.
Company officials say Electro Sonic expects to grow in Tonawanda too by bringing aboard more local sales people in the near future. Meantime, some local leaders believe they're seeing a growing trend of more Canadian companies looking across the border. "The Canadian companies... identifying the proximity to Canada, the ease with which they get back over the border, and when you look at our cost of doing business in Buffalo and contrast that to Toronto there's a huge cost advantage to being here," says Erie County Executive Chris Collins.
Electro Sonic officials say Empire Zone benefits at the Riverview Solar Technology Park also helped influence their relocation decision. The Riverview Solar Technology Park promotes itself as New York State's first "solar-ready" technology park. The park has 50 acres set aside for a proposed solar energy farm.