Springfield could attract more than 100 new jobs, but it’s competing with another city.
Code Blue, a water mitigation firm that manages claims nationwide from offices in downtown Springfield and Eau Claire, Wisconsin, is in discussions with the two states to add more than 100 new jobs.
“The state of Wisconsin would like them all to be there and the state of Ohio has an interest in them being here,” said Code Blue founder and majority shareholder in Insurance Claims Management Paul Gross.
All jobs could be added in one state or the other, or the new positions may be split among the two locations. Gross estimated a total 400 employees worked between the two offices last year, the Springfield News Sun previously reported.
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The jobs addition is a two-year plan, with at least half of the claims representative, marketing and IT jobs coming to the company in 2019.
“(Code Blue) helps further diversify our economic base,” said Tom Franzen, Springfield’s assistant city manager and director of economic development. “We still have a large amount of manufacturing jobs in the community, which is good, but we try to diversify that industrial base or commercial base with different types of jobs, and Code Blue has definitely helped do that.”
Any new jobs are a benefit to the community, but Code Blue’s location at 14 E. Main Street in the Bushnell Building downtown is a major benefit, Franzen said. The potential new jobs could bring additional business to companies already downtown and new restaurants in the works.
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“That just adds to the energy and momentum that we have here downtown that helps fuel the other improvements and things that we’re hoping to attract,” he said.
The new jobs come from a new growth path since Gross and CEO Dan Wilson “transformed it quite remarkably” when they purchased the company Feb. 22 last year, Gross said.
Gross helped create Code Blue and served as CEO before stepping down to spend more time working on his retirement community in Madison County in 2015.
He and Wilson acquired the majority share in parent company Insurance Claims Management Inc. as part of an investor group that acquired all the equity and assets of the company in a cash deal last year.
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“It’s lost a little bit of its focus in recent years and we’re going to re-energize the business,” Gross said at the time.
Since then, the company has made “significant management changes” by introducing new products that resonate with the marketplace and promoting from within and bringing outside talent, Gross said.
“It’s been transformative to the business and that has led to broad base growth not only with existing clients but the acquisition of new clients and things of that nature,” he said.
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