Thursday, April 19, 2012
Nationwide closing Amarillo office.
By RUSSELL ANGLIN
Nationwide Insurance announced plans Wednesday to cut 325 jobs and close its Amarillo call center in July 2013, a company spokeswoman said.
“This is really part of our effort to enhance our productivity and efficiency, increase our competitiveness and cut operating costs,” spokeswoman Nancy Smeltzer said. “By no means does this reflect on the performance of the associates on this site.”
Call center employees, who primarily provide customer service for existing policyholders, will meet individually with Nationwide personnel who will help the employees pursue jobs within the company or offer “career transition services” including severance packages, Smeltzer said.
The closure will affect neither Nationwide customers nor the operations of local Nationwide agents, the company said.
The Amarillo call center at 4320 S. Western St. will carry out normal operations until July 2013.
At that time, employees at Nationwide call centers in Lynchburg, Va.; San Antonio; Des Moines, Iowa; and Columbus, Ohio, will take over the calls, she said.
In July, Nationwide eliminated 64 jobs at the call center and gave employees a 60-day notice their positions were being phased out, spokesman Mike Switzer said.
Nationwide came to Amarillo in August 1997 after the Amarillo Economic Development Corp. approved a $6.2-million incentive package that included renovations to the former Best Products store on Western Street.
AEDC President Buzz David said Wednesday in an email his organization will work to find a new company to fill the void left by Nationwide’s closure.
“We are certainly disappointed to hear of Nationwide’s departure from Amarillo next summer,” David said.
“The company has been a terrific corporation citizen and valued employer.
“The business and financial services sector is important to our community, and we will keep working to bring more of these jobs to our region.”
AEDC owns the property where the call center is located, and the building has an appraised value of $2.7 million, Potter-Randall Appraisal District records show.