Cabinet for Economic Development
SAFEAUTO INSURANCE COMPANY TO LOCATE NEW CONTACT CENTER IN SOMERSET
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Steve Beshear and Economic Development Cabinet Secretary John Hindman today announced that SafeAuto Insurance Company is bringing new jobs to Somerset. The company will expand its sales and customer service capacity by establishing a new contact center and backup data center to service customers nationwide.
SafeAuto is a regional insurance provider offering insurance in 14 states to individuals who wish to carry only the state-required minimum coverage. The Somerset contact center will create approximately 263 new full-time jobs, representing an annual payroll of $7.3 million.
“This decision by SafeAuto Insurance Company is a clear indication that Kentucky’s workforce has the skills that many non-manufacturing companies are looking for,” said Gov. Beshear. “The company’s investment in the Somerset community will impact the lives of hundreds of families as a result of these new employment opportunities. We will continue to work with SafeAuto and our entire business community to make Kentucky a top-choice destination for business location and expansion.”
The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved SafeAuto in April 2008, for tax benefits up to $3.2 million under the Kentucky Jobs Development Act (KJDA), a program designed to expand service- and technology-based employment in the state. It is the first project to benefit from the recent legislative amendment to the program, which is administered by the Cabinet for Economic Development.
“Today’s announcement was made possible through the support of Governor Beshear who made this amended language part of his legislative package, and the Kentucky General Assembly, who passed and signed into law SB 155 during the 2008 Legislative Session,” said Secretary Hindman. “The bill omitted language that previously prohibited companies providing direct services to the public that employed properly licensed professionals, such as attorneys, insurance agents, doctors and brokers, from being eligible for the program.”
To qualify for the program, companies must still meet all other conditions of the KJDA, including the requirement that it provide 75 percent of its services to persons located outside the commonwealth. The change is intended to capitalize on the current trend in the industry created by the internet boom whereby a company may offer insurance policies or other services by way of the internet.
“We are delighted that Somerset will be the fourth contact center to support SafeAuto’s continuing growth,” said Jon P. Diamond, president of SafeAuto Insurance Company. “We look forward to welcoming the hard-working people of Somerset to our team of caring professionals who daily are providing minimum-limit auto insurance to a growing number of states across America. The Governor’s Office and Cabinet for Economic Development staff were very effective in showcasing this beautiful part of Kentucky, and we look forward to becoming a productive business partner here.”
Initially, the SafeAuto contact center will be located in the Enterprise Center Building in the Valley Oak Business and Technology Park until final plans for its 24,000 square-foot permanent contact center are complete. The company anticipates the new facility, which will be constructed on the grounds of the Technology Park, to be complete within two years.
“We are honored to have SafeAuto choose to locate in Pulaski County,” said Pulaski County Judge-Executive Barty Bullock. “We would like to thank Governor Beshear, Senator Alice Forgy Kerr, the Pulaski County legislative delegation and our General Assembly for having the foresight to pass and sign into law SB 155, making this announcement possible. On behalf of the citizens of Pulaski County, we welcome SafeAuto and look forward to watching their facility grow and become a stable part of our community.”
“We appreciate the confidence SafeAuto has shown in the city of Somerset and Pulaski County as it expands into other national markets,” said Somerset Mayor Eddie Girdler. “SafeAuto’s decision to locate in Somerset, providing 263 new jobs, reflects upon our workforce who will take pride in the success of SafeAuto.”
This month, SafeAuto will begin interviewing and hiring sales agents, customer service representatives, managers, human resources staff and trainers. Those interested in applying for positions can contact the Cumberlands Workforce Network Somerset Career Center (www.lcadd.org).
More information about SafeAuto Insurance Company can be found at www.safeauto.com. A community profile for Pulaski County can be found at http://thinkkentucky.com/EDIS/cmnty/index.aspx?cw=116.
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The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is the primary state agency in Kentucky responsible for creating new jobs and new investment in the state. New business investment in Kentucky in 2007 totaled nearly $2 billion with the creation of over 13,300 new jobs. Information on available development sites, workforce training, incentive programs, community profiles, small business development and other resources is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com.