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200 high-paying jobs come to Arkansas

Another company is expanding despite the economy and bringing more high paying jobs to Arkansas.

Another company is expanding despite the economy and bringing more high paying jobs to Arkansas.

The Southwest Power Pool broke ground on a new campus in West Little Rock Thursday. It's the start of a two building, $62-million expansion for Southwest.

The company is like an air-traffic control system for a nine state, high voltage electric grid. It'll bring 200 new jobs with it and by making sure the cheapest electricity available goes to where it's needed should save a lot of money.

"If we can save a billion bucks here, a billion bucks there it's really a good deal," said Southwest Power Pool Board of Directors Chairman Jim Eckelberger.

In addition to the savings and new jobs, the new campus will keep the company's more than 400 existing jobs in Arkansas. These are people we count on everyday to keep the lights on.

"If they don't do their job right somebody somewhere is not working," said Governor Mike Beebe at the groundbreaking. "Somebody somewhere is not safe. Somebody somewhere doesn't have the amenities. Somebody somewhere doesn't get to watch a Razorback game."

And according to Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce Chairman Barbara Graves, the new employees are not the only ones who stand to benefit.

"Overall it will help all of us. Anything that increases our tax base, that keeps people on the payroll helps all of us."

The two new buildings are supposed to be operational by early 2012. Governor Beebe says the new jobs average $80,000 dollars per year.

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