Student loan company Sallie Mae cut the ribbon on its second Delaware location Monday.
The new office, on Christiana Road in New Castle, will host a call center as well as operations and customer service positions. It will fit over 500 employees, but currently houses only 321.
That’s because Sallie Mae hopes to hire 300 additional employees in the First State over the next three years.
“The positions in this building will be 300. The average compensation for salary plus fringe benefits will be over $76,000 per person, and the total add to the GDP will be about 30 million dollars a year,” said Sallie Mae CEO Raymond Quinlan.
That’s good news to state officials like Governor John Carney (D-Delaware), who spoke at the event.
“I’m so excited, I’m kind of jumping out of my skin,” he said.
Senator Chris Coons cited the Bible, praising the company for helping customers access education, and donned a blue Sallie Mae T-shirt over his starched button-up.
But the anticipated hires aren’t exactly a miracle. They come at a cost to taxpayers, in the form of Delaware Strategic Fund Grant the company won last summer. Sallie Mae will receive $2.16 million, to be distributed over the next three years, if the company reaches its hiring goals.
With this grant money, the company has promised to focus on hiring those laid off by Barclays and HSBC, which announced last spring they’d be moving a total of 600 jobs out of Delaware, the News Journal reported.
The new office, which Sallie Mae leases from Pettinaro Management, has already made waves in northern Delaware’s office real estate market.
Real estate advisory firm Newmark Knight Frank reports that while downtown Wilmington’s Central Business District has lost occupancy this year, the suburbs have gained about seven times as much.
Most of that new square footage comes from Sallie Mae’s New Castle expansion.
The company currently employs 880 people in Delaware, and around 1,500 total across the country, according to a company spokesperson.