Empire State Development Announces Niagara Blower to Expand in Tonawanda

Mark Grisanti

April 11, 2013

Empire State Development (ESD) today announced that Niagara Blower Company, a manufacturer of specialized industrial heat transfer and air conditioning systems, will expand in Tonawanda, adding 25 new jobs to its existing 130 employee workforce.  The company has bought a vacant 110,000 square foot building and adjacent property at 91 Sawyer Avenue and is currently renovating the space and purchasing new machinery and equipment to allow for increased productivity and more efficient distribution.  The company’s $5.4 million investment will be supported by up to $800,000 in Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits. 


“Advanced manufacturing is crucial to the future of the Western New York economy and Niagara Blower’s commitment to this region is yet another example of companies choosing to grow and invest here,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams.  “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, ESD is leveraging its economic development tools to boost our economy and protect and create jobs, which is exactly what Niagara Blower is doing in Tonawanda today.” 


“The Excelsior Program will help Niagara Blower grow to manage increased demand for highly efficient heat transfer systems, especially for those applications related to natural gas liquids processing” said Niagara Blower Vice President of Operations Robert Smith III.  “Niagara is committed to Western New York and plans to continue providing employment opportunities for engineers, project managers, assemblers and welders.”


The project is expected to be complete within the next several years, however production began in the facility’s first bay this month.


Since the early 1950s, Niagara Blower has earned a reputation for its successful development of innovative, well engineered designs for varied heat transfer applications.  Today, Niagara Blower Heat Transfer Solutions is concentrated in three distinct product lines. Each of these product lines offer unique and cost effective solutions to the varied, and highly specialized, cooling needs in industry.  Niagara Blower was out of space at its former location and it could not continue to adequately serve present customers and expand its business and markets. The new facility will allow for a more efficient manufacturing and distribution process, enabling the company to remain competitive in the global marketplace.  It will accommodate Niagara Blower’s growth for the foreseeable future.


Senator Mark Grisanti said, “I applaud Niagara Blower for continuing to invest here in Western New York. Not only will jobs be retained, but new jobs will be created. I also want to say thank you to Governor Cuomo and Empire State Development for realizing the important role Niagara Blower plays in the community.”


Assemblyman Robin Schimminger said, “I am always pleased to see companies expanding in Western New York because of programs we create and fund in Albany like the Excelsior Jobs Program that make job growth possible.  I am especially pleased when companies choose to grow their businesses in the 140th District, and I welcome Niagara Blower to Tonawanda.” 


Erie County Mark Poloncarz said, “Niagara Blower’s facilities expansion and addition of new jobs are signs that Erie County’s economic development climate is heating up. Keeping good-paying jobs in our area’s advanced manufacturing sector is vital to our region’s economic health, and this news underscores the fact that ESD and the ECIDA are committed to doing just that.  Erie County will continue to work to provide the necessary training for the next generation of workers, to continue this resurgence in advanced manufacturing locally.”


Town of Tonawanda Supervisor Anthony F. Caruana said, “We are very excited that Niagara Blower has selected the Town of Tonawanda for an expansion of its manufacturing operations and the creation of 25 new jobs.  The Town is a leading center for advanced manufacturing in the Buffalo-Niagara region. Niagara Blower joins a long list of companies that have invested in our community and our workforce.  Niagara Blower’s industrial heat transfer and air conditioning systems are critical to other manufacturing companies.  Advances in heat transfer applications will be an important component in our on-going efforts to promote sustainable development.  Just as important, the company will invest $5.4 million in a facility that has been greatly underutilized for several years, representing a significant investment in the Sawyer Avenue corridor. We thank Governor Cuomo for his leadership in bringing this project to our community and all our partners in economic development who put the pieces into place.  We look forward to continued success for Niagara Blower in our community, and stand ready to support them in that effort.” 


Founded in 1904, Niagara Blower Company began as a manufacturer of high quality industrial air conditioning and heating equipment. Since that time Niagara Blower has transitioned into other heat transfer ventures and has earned a reputation for developing innovative engineered solutions for heat transfer applications.  In 2008 Niagara Blower acquired the assets of Kathabar, Inc. and formed the subsidiary Kathabar Dehumidification Systems, Inc. (KDS). 


Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency (www.esd.ny.gov). The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of “I Love NY,” the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, visit www.nyworks.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.