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bobliocatt

Washington Mutual plans to add 700 jobs in Jax

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This isn't downtown, but 700 decent paying jobs is still a good thing for the local economy

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Washington Mutual plans to add 700 Jacksonville jobs

By CHRISTOPHER CALNAN

The Times-Union

Washington Mutual Inc. plans to hire 700 more workers over the next three years for its Jacksonville office as it consolidates seven national offices into three loan service groups, according to a business development plan submitted to the city.

The Seattle-based financial services company is requesting a tax refund credit of $2.1 million, or $3,000 per job, from the state to help offset some of its expansion costs. The city would be required to pay $420,000 (20 percent) of the total refund.

The proposal is scheduled to be considered by the Jacksonville Economic Commission Thursday.

Washington Mutual, a publicly held Fortune 500 company, is the seventh largest banking company in the United States. It operates more 2,400 offices nationally and employs 2,100 workers at its 565,000-square-foot facility at Baymeadows Way.

The Jacksonville expansion would cost Washington Mutual $1.2 million, the development plan says.

The average wage for the 700 new jobs would be $36,590. About 450 of the positions are identified as processing and operations; 225 are call center support jobs; 25 are management positions, according to the plan.

Washington Mutual, which started in Seattle in 1889, became publicly owned in 1983. In 1996, the company began an expansion outside the Northwest.

Last year, Washington Mutual formed a partnership with former NBA star Magic Johnson to open home loan centers in under-served communities. The company said it has since opened centers in Harlem, N.Y., Washington D.C., and Atlanta.

Washington Mutual and its subsidiaries have total assets of $275.18 billion.

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