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."
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