Claims Recovery Financial Services is expanding its Albion operations, moving into the building where JPMorgan Chase formerly operated a call center.
CRFS, which provides claims processing services, has hired 55 former employees and managers of the call center, and it has plans to create an additional 150 jobs, according to Jodi Gaines, the company’s founder and chief executive officer.
CRFS plans to have all of its area employees – it also has operations in Medina – shifted into the 60,000-square-foot building by March 2014. The company will lease the facility from Roger Hungerford, the building’s new owner.
Empire State Development Corp. is offering CRFS an $872,500 incentive package to assist with job creation and retention. The package consists of a $472,500 wage tax credit and a $400,000 capital grant. The Orleans Revolving Loan Fund approved a low-interest loan of $250,000 for the purchase of equipment, and the Orleans Economic Development Agency is making available a sales tax abatement for the equipment purchases. The project will also receive a New York State community development block grant.
In June, JPMorgan Chase announced it would close its 413-employee call center in September, citing less need for the type of work performed there. The employees worked with customers who were in distress with their mortgages.
The impending shutdown of such a large employer set in motion efforts to find new jobs for the workers.
CRFS, located just across the parking lot from the call center, hired some of them. Sen. Charles E. Schumer’s office said GEICO in Amherst has offered jobs to 10 of the employees, and AMS Servicing in Depew made job offers to 35 former JPMorgan Chase workers, 28 of whom accepted. AMS is still looking to fill up to 75 positions in the coming months, Schumer’s office said.
Additionally, 100 former employees of the Albion call center were placed in new jobs at JPMorgan Chase in Rochester, according to Schumer’s office.
“We’re not out of the woods yet, but I am proud of the progress we’ve made” in placing the laid-off workers in new jobs, Schumer said in a statement.
The senator had urged JPMorgan Chase’s CEO, Jamie Dimon, to take steps to help the displaced workers find new jobs, such as staggering the layoffs and giving them first preference for the JP-Morgan Chase job openings in Rochester.
CRFS currently has three locations, in Albion, Medina, and San Antonio. About 600 of its 668 workers are in Orleans County.
Gaines formerly worked in the building that would later become JPMorgan Chase’s call center before launching her own company in 2002. The East Avenue building CRFS is moving into has gone through a series of changes in employers and functions over the years, starting with Anchor Bank’s opening of a mortgage processing center there in 1987.