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Countrywide Adding Arizona Employees

Countrywide Adding Arizona Employees3000 jobs planned for Chandler

July 12, 2005

By COCO SALAZAR

On its way to reaching its goal of becoming a 100,000-employee company, the country’s largest originator plans to add several thousand jobs in the Grand Canyon State.

Countrywide Home Loans plans to expand its staff with over 3,000 new employees in Chandler, Ariz., company spokesman Rick Simon said.

The Calabasas, Calif.-based lender recently bought three buildings to accommodate approximately 1,400 new employees in what will be 285,000 square feet of space once an add-on mezzanine is completed, Simon said.

Additionally, he said the company plans to hire 1,700 to 1,800 new employees to fill two buildings it is currently constructing in Chandler.

The new hires will fulfill mortgage processing, customer service and information technology functions. While a majority of the new hires will be for the mortgage functions, some will encompass jobs for the lender’s insurance services.

But Countrywide, which Fortune magazine recently named the seventh fastest-growing company and was the nation’s largest originator last year with volume of $363 billion, plans even more staff additions in Arizona, where it currently has about 1,800 employees.

“This isn’t necessarily the end of our Arizona expansion,” Simon said, noting both Arizona and Texas offer favorable business climates and are prospects for the extension of its central facility and servicing functions.

Late last year, Countrywide announced it would create 7,500 Texas jobs over the next six years — “the largest job creation announcement in the United States since the year 2000.”

The company began to expand outside of its California base two to three years ago, when it recognized the cost of doing business in California began to be a disadvantage. Simon also cited emergency backup as a factor leading Countrywide to set up central facility functional sites outside of the Golden State in case of an earthquake or natural disaster of such type.

The spokesman said the staff additions in Chandler are part of the company’s goal to reach a workforce of 100,000 by 2010 — more than double its current employee base of 45,000.

Countrywide expects to move into the Chandler sites by the end of the first quarter next year. It is already hiring people to fill the new sites, placing them in leased facilities until the buildings are operation ready, Simon said.


Coco Salazar is an assistant editor and staff writer for MortgageDaily.com.email: CocoSalazar@MortgageDaily.com

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