By Nita Johnson
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
A 14-month project to bring new jobs to the county is a major achievement for the community, according to industrial authority members.
The announcement that General Dynamics Information Technology plans to locate a call center in the former Thermo Disc/Micro Devices building on Ky. 1006 has generated interest from potential employees in Laurel and surrounding counties.
Charlie Pennington, executive director of the London-Laurel County Industrial Development Authority, said his office is constantly working with businesses looking to locate in the city and county. Securing General Dynamics in the area is a monumental goal that was reached through months of cooperation with state and local officials.
Paula Thompson, executive assistant with the Industrial Authority office, said the jobs offered by General Dynamics include a variety of positions including several positions in human resources, deputy director, trainer, quality specialist, program office assistant, and several supervisory positions in customer service areas.
“This is a call center, not a collection center,” Thompson said. “It is working to help people with Medicaid issues and is called a benefit support center.”
Hourly wages start at $12.51 per hour with full benefits, Thompson added.
“This business is giving people in the community the opportunity to be in on the ground floor of this company,” she said. “The company has invested $18.5 million to ‘fit up’ the existing building for this center.”
‘Fit up’ means that General Dynamics has made the financial commitment to install walls, petitions, bathrooms, electrical wiring and other infrastructure to accommodate the needs for the business operations.
The call center is currently taking applications online, and interested persons can visit their website at www.gdit.com/careers or apply in person at their job fair, scheduled for Sat., July 20 and Sat., July 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Building #2 of the Laurel campus of Somerset Community College on the Ky. 192-Bypass.
Thompson added that recruiting a business with such a positive economic impact on the community is not a chore achieved overnight. Finding an existing building to accommodate the needs of businesses is sometimes an even greater obstacle for those looking to locate here.
“It takes about a year and a half to build a building, so if we can locate a building that is already available, it makes it quicker to get the business in here and get jobs available to the community,” Thompson said.
“We have worked for nearly a year and a half to get General Dynamics here and the announcement that they are going to locate here is a great achievement,” she said.