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Bell Helicopter project adds jobs to Amarillo

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Amarillo, TX - Bell Helicopter was recently awarded a contract to build a new commercial aircraft, and they estimate production will create about one hundred jobs in the area.

The Relentless 525 is a cutting-edge helicopter built for rapid human transport to distant or hard-to-reach places, like offshore oil rigs.

Because of its advanced technology, this particular model will require highly skilled workers to assemble, and manufacturing positions are known to economists as "primary positions," because they create additional jobs, as Amarillo National Bank Vice President Richard Ware says,  "What we've seen is that for every one manufacturing job, we'll create at least three service sector jobs, and that's really big for our area, so this could be 400 jobs indirectly over the next few years because of the addition."

Bell is hoping to begin production as early as 2013, as Chief Project Engineer David King says, "Right now, we are full speed ahead in detail design, steaming ahead towards the first flight in 2014, and then certification with the FAA as soon as possible, and then ramping up full-scale production."

Bell is commonly awarded military contracts, but looming federal budget cuts make commercial contracts especially valuable.

If you'd like more information on manufacturing positions or the state of Amarillo's economy, follow the links attached to this story.

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