Niagara County may benefit in Yahoo makeover

April 5, 2012 Updated Apr 5, 2012 at 6:13 AM EDT

By WKBW News
By Business First by James Fink

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April 5, 2012 Updated Apr 5, 2012 at 6:13 AM EDT

Yahoo Inc.'s corporate restructuring may prove to be an economic development gain for Niagara County.

State Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, said Wednesday afternoon that he has talked to top-ranking Yahoo officials who said the company's Northeast Data Center, located in the Town of Lockport, is one of two back-office centers the company hopes to expand as it shifts more work to the facility.

Much of the work handled at similar Yahoo facilities will be shifted to Lockport, and, perhaps one of its other data centers.

The data center, which opened in the fall of 2010, employs 125 people, but Maziarz said conversations he has had with the company indicate more workers could be hired for the facility.

"This is tremendously positive news," Maziarz said.

Sources said Yahoo has quietly acquired almost 20 more acres next to its property in the Town of Lockport Industrial Park as a prelude to the expansion, which officials first spoke of nearly a year ago.

The Lockport operation benefits from a handsome incentive package crafted to lure Yahoo to Niagara County two years ago. Among the incentives an allotment of low-cost hydropower from the New York Power Authority.

The anticipated expansion announcement comes as Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson announced plans to cut 14 percent, or approximately 2,000 of its 14,000 workers, system-wide.

The California-based company has said it will have more details on job cuts and its future when it releases it quarterly earnings on April 17.

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