A opening ceremony for the new Geico customer service center in Carmel, Indiana was attended by Billionaire investor Warren Buffett. The ceremony took place at the facility that Geico plans to expand sometime within the next couple of years. As many as 1,200 workers will staff the service center when the expansion is complete.
So why does Warren Buffett care about this project? It might have something to do with the fact that Geigo is owned by his Berkshire Hathaway holding company. Buffett has spoken very highly of Indiana, noting that several other Berkshire Hathaway businesses have had positive experiences doing business in the state.
The customer service center currently employs around 250 workers, including agents, trainers, supervisors and support staff.
The planned expansion is welcomed news in an economy that has struggled. The city of Carmel has done a good job of providing incentives to business choosing to setup operations. When Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard met with Geico CEO Tony Nicely and Governor back in March, he said, “We like to think that what we do every day provides a great incentive; a low tax environment, good public schools, good public library, good park system and all the things that make people want to locate here, and a very low tax environment.”
The opening ceremony represents the culmination of a hiring effort that began in March, when the insurer first began accepting applications. If Geico succeeds in creating the agreed upon number of jobs, then it stands to receive up to $10 million in tax credits and $400,000 in training grants.