Sallie Mae Bank is seeking up to $2.16 million from the state to expand its customer service center in New Castle.
The money would come from the state’s Strategic Fund. The fund ties the grant to the number of jobs created. The state Council on Development Finance is expected to consider the proposal this month.
Sallie Mae plans to create 285 new jobs with this expansion. That would bring the company’s total employment in the county to more than 1,000. Sallie Mae’s headquarters is located south of Newark.
“We’re glad Sallie Mae has chosen to significantly expand its operations here in Delaware,” said Gov. John Carney. “Delaware has an experienced, skilled financial sector workforce that is perfectly suited for this expansion. And we’re proud to support Sallie Mae, and the Delawareans who work there, as the company continues to put down roots here in our great state.”
It was the first big economic development win for Carney, who has struggled with job cutbacks and a state budget gap in the first year in the governor’s office. In recent months, HSBC announced plans to close down a center in New Castle, with Barclaycard cutting back and closing a site near Newark.
At least partially offsetting those losses were plans by online lender SoFi to add up to 400 jobs in north Wilmington.
Under the deal being considered, Sallie Mae will “actively look to workers from a specific group of local companies that have recently announced layoffs,” a release stated.
The announced job cuts amounted to less than two percent of all financial jobs in the state, with hundreds of job vacancies reported. However, many of the available jobs are in the technology area.
“We remain focused on helping grow business in Delaware. And at the same time, we continue to work to encourage our existing business partners to be exceptional corporate citizens,” said Cerron Cade, director of the Division of Small Business, Development & Tourism. “Keeping workers and the economic benefit they create right here in Delaware is a big win for Sallie Mae and the state.”
“Since our establishment of Sallie Mae as a standalone consumer banking business more than three years ago, we’ve focused on building out our customer service operation. That’s meant hundreds of new jobs here at our headquarters in Delaware,” said Raymond J. Quinlan, CEO, Sallie Mae. “We are eager to draw again from this talented local workforce as we continue to grow the business.”
In other matters, The Independence School, Newark, is seeking $7 million in bonding for refinancing an older bond issue and other projects. The bonds are approved by the state, with the risk borne by the lender.
The council will meet Monday morning to consider the requests.