Just weeks after New Era announced plans to close its Derby manufacturing plant, workers are seeing an outpouring of support from more than 25 Western New York companies, a New Era spokesperson said.
"Sometimes these things can time themselves out where one hand can help the other," David Rice, Director of Manufacturing for Buffalo Games, said. The puzzle and game manufacturing company is one of those 25 lending a hand.
Buffalo Games expanded rapidly over the past few years and with that expansion comes the need for more workers.
"In the last three or four years, we've grown from three to four million puzzles a year to seven plus million puzzles a year and next year we're targeting eight million puzzles a year," Rice said.
They employ two manufacturing positions: machine operators and production mechanics. The company said pay is "competitive" and ranges depending on the position. Employees typically work Monday through Thursday with chances for overtime Friday and Saturday, especially during the third and fourth quarters.
Buffalo Games is looking to hire between five to ten people with room for more hires depending on growth.
In Lancaster, Sealing Devices Inc., "a convertor or gaskets and ceiling sealing products," is looking to fill upwards of 20 positions on the floor.
"We're looking to fill press operators, assemblers, kitters, quality control technicians, vision inspection equipment operations," Director of Operations for Sealing Devices Inc, Scott Walrath, said.
It too offers "competitive" pay and flexible schedules with full benefits and opportunities for overtime.
"Being family owned, it's a very family-like operation and we find once people come here and get accustomed to it, rarely do they choose to leave," Walrath said.
A New Era Spokesperson sent 7 Eyewitness News this statement about the latest on what's next for the Derby plant:
While New Era continues to discuss the contemplated decision to discontinue operations at the Derby facility with the CWA, the company has become aware of strong interest from companies in the area in hiring the affected employees. New Era has also been contacted by the NY State Department of Labor which will visit the Derby plant in mid-December to help employees with job-interviewing skills and resume-writing. New Era welcomes these efforts to help our employees and will assist any who want to pursue new job opportunities.