Sallie Mae brings even more jobs to Muncie
By Rick Yencer
MUNCIE, IN - Sallie Mae became Muncie's largest profit making employer on Friday, announcing a $5 million expansion and 200 more jobs at its local call center.
That could not make Mayor Dennis Tyler happier after seeing a couple hundred people line for jobs at a new Little Caesar's just down the street the day before.
"I believe it is a testament to the quality of our community's quality workforce that this facility continues to grow and have immense success," said the mayor.
That success is at the cost of others failure as the student loan and insurance giant sees an upswing in bad debts with growing unemployment and a stagnant economy. The unemployment rate in Delaware County is nearly 10 percent despite having three large institutions, Ball State University, IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital, and Muncie Community Schools employing another 6,000 or more people.
Jon Kroehler, senior vice president of Sallie Mae, mentioned the local workforce in announcing plans to expand and add employees. "The state of Indiana has been good for Sallie Mae, in fact we are proud to say that our largest group of employees is made up of Hoosiers.
Sallie Mae also has operations in Indianapolis besides dozens of call centers throughout the country. And it is a big player in Muncie with more than a $22 million yearly payroll and charible giving to the Muncie YMCA and other groups.
The expansion, that was reported to members of Muncie City Council last month, includes a 20,200 square foot building expansion. A cafeteria was added to the existing building and the new employment number should produce a $30 million yearly payroll. And jobs where are good paying with an average salary of $37,000 mafter a year of service. Sallie Mae also pays good benefits including health, 401K, stock options and disability insurance.
That is a turnaround from a year ago when Sallie Mae dropped about 100 jobs locally and scaled back at other call centers.
And recent stock reports indicate a better economy for Sallie Mae with net income going from $112 million in the first quarter of 2012 to $175 million in the second quarter with a $32 a share value.
Jay Julian, president and CEO of the Muncie-Delaware County Chamber of Commerce, said business retention and expansion was the name of the game in local government efforts as the community has seen growth at SparTech, Keihin Aircon and Magna Powertrain in recent months. Tyler has made job creation job one in his new administration.
Those gains still don't replace the thousands of auto industry jobs in the last decade with the closing of the former Chevrolet and Borg Warner automotive plants in the last century.