Friday, October 29, 2010

Official: Company might add more than 500 jobs

By Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer
Published: Thursday, October 28, 2010 12:27 AM CDT

The 500 jobs that U.S. Bank Home Mortgage announced in July it will add to its growing Owensboro work force "may not be enough" by 2014, and even more jobs may be added, Bob Smiley, executive vice president of U.S. Bank Home Mortgage, told the Owensboro Noon Rotary on Wednesday.

"As long as the economy continues to improve, we have real high hopes here," Smiley told the crowd of about 50 at the Owensboro Country Club.
The total compensation for the new U.S. Bank employees will be $12 to $14 per hour including benefits, base and incentive pay, he said.

Smiley said in an earlier interview that to get state incentives, U.S. Bank had to agree that 90 percent of the 500 employees would earn at least $10.88 per hour in base and incentive.

"We have an unbelievable professional staff, and most have been here a long time," Smiley said. "We hope we are giving opportunities to a lot of people here in the city."

The company's Owensboro work force numbers are at more than 1,000 not counting the 500 new jobs expected.

Hiring is expected to start next spring for the new location on 13 acres at Tamarack and Carter roads.
The expansion announced this summer was the second local work force growth spurt for the company in less than a year.

U.S. Bank built a 50,000-square-foot office in Highland Pointe off Kentucky 54 to accommodate many of the 300 employees hired in that earlier expansion.

The company's market share "is closing in on 5 percent," Smiley said.

"Behind that number is my group," he said. "When a loan is originated, we service that mortgage for the life of the loan."

In 2007, the mortgage loan company hit the $100 billion mark in mortgage loan servicing volume.
Last fall and again in December, company officials reviewed its rapid growth and work force numbers.

"In July, we hit the $200 billion mark, doubling in three years," Smiley said. "We were fortunate enough to get in touch with Nick Brake (CEO of the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corp.) and city and state officials, and they put together an unbelievable incentive package."

The city is building an 81,000-square-foot facility in the Mid-America Airpark, which the mortgage service division will lease.

U.S. Bank will invest more than $14.1 million over several years with this addition, officials said at the announcement. The package of state and city tax incentives together is valued at more than $6 million.

U.S. Bank is the sixth-largest mortgage lender in the country with $208 billion in loans and 1.4 million customers.

He told the Rotary group that U.S. Bank Home Mortgage traces its Owensboro roots back to 1976 with Lincoln Service Mortgage Corp., Firstar and Great Financial.

U.S. Bank Home Mortgage did not participate in the host of new subprime mortgage products that hit the market, such as "no document loans" in which lending companies didn't verify incomes or jobs.