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PERRY, NY-At a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday attended by a host of local, state and federal dignitaries, Sallie Mae began a $5.5 million campaign to expand its operations in Western, New York State.

Among those on hand for the groundbreaking ceremony for Sallie Mae’s new 23,000-sf facility in the Village of Perry was New York Governor George Pataki. The company will also add to its operations in nearby Arcade. The governor notes that the company’s expansion efforts in Western New York State will increase Sallie Mae’s local workforce from 350 workers to 900 employees.

“Sallie Mae’s decision to construct this new facility and create 550 new jobs is great news for the Wyoming County economy,” Governor Pataki says. “Our new state budget will further strengthen the economy throughout Upstate New York by launching our new Empire Opportunity Fund, creating new Empire Zones, expanding the Excelsior Linked Deposit program and providing strong support for our high-tech Centers of Excellence.”

Sallie Mae, headquartered in Reston, Va., currently owns or manages student loans for more than seven million borrowers and is the nation’s leading provider of education loans.

Sallie Mae Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Albert L. Lord comments, “Sallie Mae is committed to bringing good jobs to Western New York and this new facility demonstrates that we are here to stay.”

In December 2001, Sallie Mae purchased Pioneer Credit Recovery Inc., a collection-service company employing 350 workers at facilities in Perry and Arcade. Sallie Mae is now constructing a new 23,000-sf building in Perry that is expected to be completed later this year. The company is also adding 17,000 sf to its 22,000-sf building in Arcade, which is scheduled to be completed in October 2002. Ultimately, Sallie Mae expects to employ 500 workers in Arcade and 400 in Perry.

Based on the value of its expansion program, Sallie Mae is eligible to apply for a $650,000 capital grant from Empire State Development, state officials say.

Sallie Mae also received assistance from: the Wyoming County Industrial Development Agency, Empire State Development’s Finger Lakes Office, the Village and Town of Perry and the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce.

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