News and notes from Reston (tm).

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Reston's Vibrant Economy Part 39: Sprint, Sallie Mae Hiring -- Just Not Here

If you've recently lost your high-tech "information economy" job (selling 70-year variable rate mortgages during which homeowners were given large stacks of small denomination bills to move into particleboard McMansions), fear not. Two pillars of the Reston business economy are hiring! All you'll have to do is pack your bags and move to such exciting locales as Hampton, Virginia, or Fishers, Indiana, because that's where the new jobs are. Oh, and you'll probably have to take a minor pay cut, as they're basically call center jobs. But hey -- jobs! Yes we can!

After moving its headquarters to Kansas and consolidating operations here, corn fritter and Footloose-loving Sprint Nextel is actually adding jobs in Virginia. Just not this part of Virginia:

Sprint (NYSE: S) announced Monday that it is looking for more workers at its Hampton Contact Center in Hampton, Virginia.

Sprint, which announced last month that it would close a network operations center in Reston and eliminate 100 jobs, said the new jobs in Hampton will be added to the 700 employees now working at the contact center.
Meanwhile, in what sounds like a purely calculated move to gain sympathy, potty-mouth executive Albert Lord announced that Sallie Mae is moving its call centers back to the U.S. of A. from overseas locations. In your face, India, Bangladesh and the Philippines!
Sallie Mae said Monday that it will bring 2,000 jobs to the U.S. within the next 18 months as it shifts call center and other operations from overseas.

"The current economic environment has caused our communities to struggle with job losses. They need jobs, and we will put 2,000 of them into U.S. facilities as soon as we possibly can," Chief Executive Albert L. Lord said in a statement.

Aside from call center positions, the nation's largest private student lender will be looking for individuals to fill information technology and operations support roles. Sallie Mae runs facilities in 20 U.S. locations including Lynn Haven, Fla.; Fishers, Ind.; Wilkes-Barre, Pa.; Killeen, Texas and Newark, Del.

And if the turnout for jobs at its Delaware operations center is any indication, Sallie Mae should brace for a large number of applicants for the new crop of positions. A job fair hosted by the Reston, Va.-based company in December for the Delaware site saw more than 800 attendees and at least 2,300 more apply online. The lender said at the time that it planned to hire 1,100 workers for the facility by the end of 2011.
Time to dust off those resumes. Either opportunity beats Targetville, that's for sure.

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