A Springfield water mitigation company is adding about 60 employees, leading to an expansion this month in a downtown office building and plans for additional hiring in the future.
CodeBlue, a downtown Springfield company with more than 200 employees, expanded this month and is taking over an additional floor at the Bushnell Building, 14 E. Main St. The company currently occupies the fourth floor of the historic Springfield building, but also took over the previously vacant third floor this month as hiring increased.
The additional hiring is partially the result of an new initiative called CodeBlue Elite, said Paul Gross, president and CEO of CodeBlue. The new program is designed to provide more consistent and comprehensive service to insurance companies that contract with the Springfield firm.
Local officials said the expansion will help bring more jobs downtown and provides another sign that hiring throughout the county is slowly picking up. Jim Lagos, who owns the building with his wife Nike, declined to discuss the specific costs of the renovation but said the hiring is a positive sign.
“Nike and I are delighted to see the continued expansion of employment at CodeBlue,” Lagos said. “One of our key objectives in all our work in the downtown has been to increase employment opportunities for our fellow citizens. These are good jobs for good people.”
Based in Wisconsin, CodeBlue acts as a liaison between homeowners, insurance companies and independent contractors. Insurance companies contract with CodeBlue to dispatch contractors to sites where water damage has occurred and to work with the contractors and homeowners to make sure damage is repaired in an effective and cost-efficient manner.
The new hiring includes plans for between 55 and 61 new employees in a range of positions, including water mitigation specialists, software programmers, graphic designers and numerous other positions, Gross said. CodeBlue is also one of 42 employers that will attend a job fair on Tuesday hosted by the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce and OhioMeansJobs of Clark County.
The need to hire additional employees is largely the result of the CodeBlue Elite initiative, a nationwide program that will be rolled out over the next several months, Gross said. Earlier this month, the company hosted hundreds of contractors from across the U.S. for training and to learn details of the program.
CodeBlue has identified its best contractors to take part in the program, which is designed to provide a higher level of service to insurance companies and homeowners. For example, a homeowner who uses the service will receive an emailed photo and biography of the technician who will make the repairs, and the technician is guaranteed to arrive at the home within two hours of the initial call for service, Gross said.
The service is available to insurance firms and homeowners at no additional cost, and the company works closely with independent contractors to ensure they are meeting the requirements to remain involved in the program. The program has helped lead to additional contracts with insurance firms, hence the need for more employees, Gross said.
“No one else in the world has what we are offering,” Gross said.
On Friday, four new employees attended an orientation process for solutions advisor positions at the company. Robert Mitchell, of Springfield, said he had been working part-time in recent months but was looking for a more permanent position.
“This was the first decent offer I received,” Mitchell said.
The unemployment rate has dropped in Clark County in recent months, and city officials have increasingly heard from companies who are considering hiring in the future, said Josh Rauch, deputy economic development administrator in Springfield.
“I think it’s obviously good news,” Rauch said of CodeBlue’s expansion. “I do think we’ve seen sort of a reduction in the unemployment rate, which from our vantage point seems like its translated into more jobs for the city and county, which is certainly a good thing.”