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Safelite bringing 900 jobs to Rio Rancho

Safelite AutoGlass announced Thursday that it will open an insurance claims and support center in a building formerly occupied by Sprint. From left, Rio Rancho Mayor Gregg Hull, New Mexico Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela, Gov. Susana Martinez and Safelite Vice President for Client Service Delivery Brian O’Mara. (Greg Sorber/Albuquerque Journal)

Safelite AutoGlass announced Thursday that it will open an insurance claims and support center in a building formerly occupied by Sprint. From left, Rio Rancho Mayor Gregg Hull, New Mexico Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela, Gov. Susana Martinez and Safelite Vice President for Client Service Delivery Brian O’Mara. (Greg Sorber/Albuquerque Journal)

Safelite AutoGlass, an auto glass and claims management company based in Ohio, will bring more than 900 jobs and nearly $23 million in payroll to Rio Rancho over the next four years, Gov. Susana Martinez announced Thursday.

The insurance claim and support center will be housed in the Enchanted Hills building formerly occupied by Sprint. It will open at the beginning of next year, and Safelite will begin hiring employees for the center in the fourth quarter of this year.

“We will come in like a swarm of locusts,” Brian O’Mara, Safelite’s vice president of client service delivery, told an afternoon news conference.

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It was not clear how much the jobs will pay.

Brian O’Mara, Safelite AutoGlass vice president of client service delivery, says the Ohio-based company will come to its new Rio Rancho center “like a swarm of locusts.” (Greg Sorber/Albuquerque Journal)

Brian O’Mara, Safelite AutoGlass vice president of client service delivery, says the Ohio-based company will come to its new Rio Rancho center “like a swarm of locusts.” (Greg Sorber/Albuquerque Journal)

Company leaders said New Mexico’s workforce and business-friendly environment were reasons, among others, for choosing Rio Rancho over other locations.

Martinez said Safelite was offered several incentives. Those include $3 million in funding through the Local Economic Development Act, as well as additional money through the Rapid Workforce Development Fund for training employees in the Spanish terminology associated with insurance claim processing.

“The company could have chosen to locate the center anywhere in the world, but they chose us because we’re doing things differently,” the governor said.

Safelite President and CEO Tom Feeney said in a news release, “The governor has enacted bold reforms over the last six years that send a strong message to industry-leading companies like ours. And at the end of the day, we’re most excited to tap into New Mexico’s high-quality workforce at Safelite, where customer satisfaction comes first and employees are part of the family. We think this is a great home for our fifth insurance claims processing and support center.”

New Mexico Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela passes a football. (Greg Sorber/Albuquerque Journal)

New Mexico Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela passes a football. (Greg Sorber/Albuquerque Journal)

O’Mara said Safelite likely would outgrow the former Sprint Center within three years.

Sprint closed its Rio Rancho-based call center in February, resulting in the loss of about 400 jobs.

Rio Rancho also has been hit by job losses at the massive Intel manufacting plant. Earlier this year, Intel announced a total of 12,000 layoffs worldwide, or about 11 percent of its workforce, by mid-2017. The company has refused to answer questions about how many positions the Rio Rancho plant is losing.


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