State Farm to close 11 facilities, affecting 4200 employees

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., the largest US home and auto insurer, plans to shut 11 USA facilities, displacing about 4,200 workers, after a $7 billion annual underwriting loss previous year on auto policies.

"These employees will continue to have job opportunities in other State Farm locations, but we also understand for personal reasons some of these employees may not be able to relocate", State Farm spokesman Justin Tomczak said.

State Farm's executive vice president and chief administrative officer Mary Schmidt says their decision was made to better serve their customers by "gaining efficiency through streamlining and improving processes, leveraging technology, and concentrating employees in larger locations". At the time, the company indicated it had no plans to move its headquarters from Bloomington, but some employees based in Bloomington-Normal were reassigned to other locations. The changes, starting in 2018, will affect about 4,200 of the company's almost 70,000 employees - upwards of 600 of them based in Kalamazoo. The move will affect 4,200 people nationwide.

According to the news release from State Farm, the Kalamazoo branch will begin phasing out in 2019. "If that doesn't work, we're going to see what we can do to keep them (the employees) here and the families here because they're planted in the community, they give back to the community, and we need them here".

There are more than 500 employees in the Kalamazoo, Tulsa, Bakersfield and Frederick facilities, he said.

She said, "In order to adapt to the changing needs of our customers and continue to provide the remarkable service that our customers expect, we must continue to manage our business efficiently".

Local officials, in their statements and interviews with the World, emphasized how much Tulsa wants to retain the skilled workers whose jobs will leave in 2019.

The giant insurance company has a 150,000-square-foot claims center at 5538 Portage Road.

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum spoke out about the closure in a statement released Thursday afternoon. "Our first consideration is for our neighbors whose jobs are impacted".

  • Salvatore Jensen