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Calspan Cuts Ribbon on Research Center, Geico Opens Amherst Office

By Eileen Buckley

Niagara Falls, NY – Governor Pataki appeared in Western New York Wednesday to help celebrate some important economic development projects for the region.

Pataki first appeared in Niagara Falls to cut the ribbon for the new $13.3 million flight research center at Calspan Corporation. Calspan says thanks to a public private partnership the project became a reality. The state provided $250,000 toward infrastructure changes. The building is next to Niagara Falls International Airport.

Calspan President Louis Knotts says the center serves as a state of the art research and development facility, and features two large hangers.

"What we keep in those hangars are some of the most capable research and development airplanes in the world," Knotts said.

The new facility employs 60 workers and is expected to create more jobs in the future. Calspan was returned to local ownership last year.

After leaving Niagara Falls, the Governor headed to Amherst for the grand opening of the new Geico Building at the CrossPoint Parkway. Geico is promising to create more than 2,000 local jobs. Pataki says these projects are all about strengthening Western New York's economy.

"There's a magnificant quality of life here," Pataki said. "But what you have to do is have a job. We have to fight for every single job."

The state provided $1 million in the form of a capital grant to help Geico build the $40 million complex.