Quicken to Boost Workforce

May 20, 2004

1,200 new Michigan jobs planned

By Coco Salazar

With plans to continue growing in its home state, a leading online mortgage lender will add 1,200 jobs to its staff over the next five years.

Quicken Loans Inc. plans to expand its mortgage operations in Troy, Mich., where the opening of a new Web sales center will give room for 1,200 new jobs, consisting mostly of loan officer and loan processor positions, within a five-year period, according to company spokeswoman Elizabeth Jones.

Jones said 1,700 people currently work for the Livonia, Mich.-based company, which consists of the QuickenLoans.com online lending site, the Rock Financial branches in southeast Michigan, and Title Source Inc., a title and settlement services company, according to its Web site.

Quicken Loans operates a Web sales center in Livonia, where it processes and closes loans in all 50 states, Jones said. Due to the company's growth -- in just five years, loan volume reportedly soared 650% to over $12 billion in 2003 -- Quicken decided it was necessary to open a second web sales center to help handle the volume.

The direct lender had considered opening the new center in Nevada because many of its clients live in the Western time zones, and because the region has a growing labor pool and a favorable business tax climate, the spokeswoman said.

However, Quicken did not overlook the Troy area as a possibility due to proximity -- the city is home to its title and settlement services company and is close to its Livonia operations, which would enable the company to attract the northern and eastern Detroit suburb labor pool -- "folks who might not want to make the hour commute to Livonia, but would love to work for us in Troy," Jones said.

Ultimately, the tax credit from the state of Michigan -- reportedly worth over $29.6 million over the next four years -- persuaded Quicken to stay and grow within its home state, according to the spokeswoman. Quicken is currently negotiating a lease for an existing Troy building and expects the second call center will be operational by late July 2004.

Quicken's expansion was one of nine company expansions and relocations planned within the state that were announced Tuesday by Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm.

"This is great news for Troy and the entire state," Granholm said in a statement. "Quicken Loans/Rock Financial is recognized as one of the nation's best employers to work for, and now there will be more Michigan workers enjoying that distinction as a result of this expansion. We appreciate the company's continued commitment to Michigan."

Quicken, which Jones said had mortgage production of $3 billion during its most recent fiscal quarter ending in April, placed 13th on Fortune magazine's latest list of the Best Companies to Work For. Out of the 100 companies on the list, the magazine acknowledged Quicken had the largest percentage of job growth during 2003.

Copyright: MortgageDaily.com

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