Sallie Mae Plans To Return Jobs To U.S.

By Thomas Heath

Sallie Mae announced today plans to move 2,000 overseas jobs back to the United States from locations in India and Phillipines.

The jobs are projected to cost the Reston-based student lender about $35 million annually because of higher labor expenses. A few new jobs will be in the Washington area, where the Reston-based company is located, but most will be scattered across the United States.

"It's the right thing to do," said Sallie Mae chief executive Albert L. Lord. "The value of a company's franchise is essentially measured in financial terms, but there are a lot of values in a company that relate to the long-term value of a franchise. It's a wise investment in the company's future."

Lord said the company moved the jobs overseas about a year ago as a cost-savings measure when the credit crisis was hurting Sallie Mae's bottom line. The company cut $300 million over the last 18 months, Lord said in an interview Monday.

The positions include include call center, information technology and operations, and support positions.

The jobs will be filled over the next 18 months, the company said.

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

Sallie Mae employs more than 8,000 people across the country, including Florida, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Texas.

"It's a patriotic act," said Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.), whose Wilkes Barre district will get a big impact from the new jobs. "It sends a great message to corporate America to think as deeply as you can."

By Dan Beyers  |  April 6, 2009; 9:14 AM ET  | Category:  Economy Watch , Sallie Mae
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lets hope no h1b visa holders apply...
hire Americans...

Posted by: DwightCollins | April 6, 2009 9:35 AM

It's about time that an American company finally sees the connection between offshoring and American job loss.

Posted by: Carole5520 | April 6, 2009 9:58 AM

While it's commendable that these jobs are being brought back to the U.S., the jobs never should have been outsourced in the first place. This is one of the reasons why unemployment is skyrocketing. Outsourcing has harmed the American worker and we are all paying the price. Now if only IBM, HP, GM, Ford et al would realize Americans need these jobs. There will always countries with lower cost structures but Americans can't live on $2.50 a day. Corporate America has shot themselves in the foot with outsourcing and it's biting everyone.

Posted by: cricket35 | April 6, 2009 10:17 AM

If we can't compete globally, then we should start bringing the jobs back & just produce things to sell to ourselves.

Posted by: Rocc00 | April 6, 2009 10:28 AM

Bravo to Sallie Mae. Now if we could just get people in this country to buy American and support companies that don't outsource their jobs then we'd all be better off.

Posted by: jlp7t | April 6, 2009 10:37 AM

This was done out of SLM's own self-interest. The current administration is about to render SLM obsolete or regulate this industry out of business (drastically reducing their profits). This "legal" loan sharking company can afford American wages. SLM knows that her days are numbered. If people can't pay their mortgages and their credit cards, who can afford to pay ridiculously high interest rates and late fee penalties on student loans that cannot be discharged through bankruptcy.

Posted by: langoustine78 | April 6, 2009 10:47 AM

Since its inception in 1973, Sallie Mae has never done anything based on what is best for those it was created to help. It's upper management is mostly Republican, so with a Democrat in the White House, Sallie Mae is now going to make it appear that it is concerned about others. Sallie Mae management has been "piggy" from the beginning. Hopefully, Sallie Mae's days are numbered.

Posted by: jeanbowling1 | April 6, 2009 11:22 AM

Tom, nice piece, good to see Sallie Mae bringing more jobs here!!!

Posted by: DMNGOOD | April 6, 2009 11:52 AM

This has NOTHING to do with Sallie Mae being patriotic. These guys are trying to win favor with Congress as they consider doing away with Sallie Mae and offering nearly all government-backed student loans through Department of Education. That is what Obama has proposed.

If Sallie Mae was so patriotic, they would not have moved the jobs overseas to begin with.

Posted by: loux24 | April 6, 2009 12:08 PM

I agree with jlp7t who said "Bravo to Sallie Mae. Now if we could just get people in this country to buy American and support companies that don't outsource their jobs then we'd all be better off." My son has lost several positions due to outsourcing. However, American companies need to make products that are as good as foreign companies. I had bought 2 new Toyotas since 1988 (I'm still driving the 2d, a 1999 purchased in Dec 98, and plan to for awhile) which required only routine maintenance). My 1989 Toyota lasted 13 years and would have lasted longer had my son not wrecked it. I'm not sure I would have been able to say this had I bought from one of our American auto makers. I'm still not convinced that they are as concerned with producing a high-value, quality product as e.g., Japanese auto makers. I want to believe in and trust American companies.

Posted by: ColleenKKing | April 6, 2009 12:43 PM

Carole5520 wrote:
"It's about time that an American company finally sees the connection between offshoring and American job loss."

I wonder when people will realize the connection between the decline in offshoring of jobs and their declining investments?

Posted by: ahashburn | April 6, 2009 1:39 PM

This has NOTHING to do with Sallie Mae being patriotic. These guys are trying to win favor with Congress as they consider doing away with Sallie Mae and offering nearly all government-backed student loans through Department of Education. That is what Obama has proposed.

If Sallie Mae was so patriotic, they would not have moved the jobs overseas to begin with.
Posted by: loux24 | April 6, 2009 12:08 PM
______________________________

Totally true - - dead on. This is exactly what they are doing.

Posted by: Admiral1126 | April 6, 2009 2:58 PM

Thank goodness Sallie Mae is bringing these jobs back. I had a past experience with a Sallie Mae customer representative over in India not to long ago that almost made me loose my mind.

I am not even going to detail the experience. Lucky for me I was able to get the number to their ombudsman's office to help me resolve my problem and come up with a solution; however, I had to call almost every Sallie Mae office in the U.S. just to get that number.

Posted by: lcarter0311 | April 6, 2009 3:35 PM

Sallie Mae (SLM Corp.) happens to be the #1 campaign contributor to Rep. Kanjorski, who calls this decision a "patriotic act" in the article. Kanjorski has received more than $86,000 for his re-election campaigns from the company's PAC and employees.

You can see the data on OpenSecrets.org, the website of the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics:

http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.php?cycle=Career&cid=N00001509

Posted by: CRPOpenSecrets | April 6, 2009 4:29 PM

OK, Finally employment instead of unemployment, if the upper management in some of these so call companies that use to cater to the USA, would follow suite then it will be all good, regardless if SLM is doing this because democrats are in office or not ,at least they are doing something,doesn't anyone understand there needs to be no more BONUSES regardless and I am so sick of all the bailouts, how about COUNTRYWIDE what is there excuse they don't want to help anyone but themselves how sad,greedy if I talk to one more person trying to learn to speak english I am going to SCREAMMMMM, did you hear me..USA,USA,USA...Pray people we have a long way to go. QQ with all the layoffs to save money, where is all the savings..hmm still smell some rats...

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