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ULSTER, NY-Officials with UnitedHealth Group and New York Governor George Pataki visited the town of Ulster to announce that the firm plans to spend more than $22 million and create in total an excess of 1,300 jobs in upstate New York and Manhattan. The company will more than double its currently leased space and will invest in redesigning some current space to accommodate the new employees.

The company reports that its Uniprise division will invest $19.4 million and create 1,172 jobs in upstate New York and will spend another $3.2 million in capital and add 150 new jobs at its UnitedHealthcare of New York operations in Manhattan. The governor and UnitedHealth Group Chairman and CEO William McGuire, MD made the announcement at the company’s offices in the town of Ulster in the Hudson Valley region of the state on Thursday, Nov. 2.

Uniprise currently employs 386 workers at an 83,500-sf facility located at One Park Place on Wolf Road in Colonie just outside Albany. Uniprise plans to invest $10 million to expand its operations into a new 140,000-sf building in Albany County near its existing facility. The expansion will create 640 new jobs, primarily in claims processing and customer service, during the next three years, bringing the Uniprise workforce in the region to 1,026, state officials say.

Uniprise’s Ulster County operation, which provides claim administration and customer services for the Empire Plan, currently employs 594 employees at a 151,000-sf facility at 505 Boices Lane in the Town of Ulster. The company plans to invest $9.4 million to acquire additional space and reconfigure existing space to accommodate the added job and business growth.

UnitedHealthcare of New York, a separate business unit of UnitedHealth Group, currently employs 203 workers at 2 Penn Plaza in Manhattan. The company will create 150 new jobs, increasing the workforce to 353 workers. The company will invest $3.2 million to renovate and reconfigure its existing office space to accommodate the new employees within 18 months.

“In the past few weeks, the Bank of New York has announced 557 jobs in Central New York and the Mohawk Valley, Dresser-Rand is moving its world headquarters with 500 jobs to the Southern Tier and IBM is adding 1,000 jobs as part of its $2.5 billion investment in the Hudson Valley,” the Governor says. “Today, that momentum continues with nearly 1,200 new jobs in the Capital Region and Hudson Valley with UnitedHealth Group’s Uniprise.”

Dr. McGuire adds, “We are very pleased to be a continuing partner in the business expansion of upstate New York. As our business grows, we seek to place our operations in areas that have well-educated, committed people who are looking to be part of a successful team. Our experience has shown upstate New York as an excellent place for us to be.”

Based on the firm’s investment in New York State, UnitedHealth Group is eligible to apply for $1.38 million in capital/training grants from the Empire State Development Corp., state officials note.

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