BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - A happy new year is in store for job seekers in western New York as two big employers announce plans to get bigger.
GEICO's Amherst offices are bustling with 2,400 workers. But by this time next year, there could be well over 3,000 associates, pushing the insurance giant to new heights and filling a lot of unused space.
Assistant Vice President Kirk La said, "We've been the fastest growing automobile insurance company in the nation for the last seven years."
La says GEICO is more than a call center. Workers are licensed professional insurance agents and they get paid for the higher qualifications.
"[They] can either handle our sales operations, customer service, claims, underwriting, our homeowners division. So we have lots and lots of jobs for a lot of different career-minded folks," La said.
Why is GEICO devoting so much of its resources to western New York?
La explained, "We came to this location back in 2004, and could not be more happy. We just think western New York can provide us with the ample amount of associates we need."
Worker morale is also running high at GM Powertrain, which will be adding 500 new positions for two new product lines. The Tonawanda plant is now the exclusive supplier for Corvette's next generation of V-8 engine and workers got a charge as General Motors rolled out the latest Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups in Detroit.
Plant Manager Steve Finch said, "From a workforce standpoint, it will swell our ranks because we need a lot more people to run these engine lines than what we did for the previous engines."
The 2014 models of the two trucks feature the new, more powerful EcoTec 3 engines.
"And of course a big highlight of the truck product family is the engine platforms, which made us especially glad because all those engines will be made right here in Tonawanda," Finch said.
Just as important as the thousands of new jobs landing here - they are quality jobs that add value to the western New York economy.
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