Greensboro, NC -- UnitedHealthcare and Optum announced Tuesday morning that they have added 1,000 new jobs to the state of North Carolina.
At a news conference in Greensboro, UnitedHealthcare said it's hiring 573 people in North Carolina in 2013 in addition to the 537 it hired in 2012. A majority of the new jobs will be based in UnitedHealthcare's Greensboro office.
According to a news release from UnitedHealthcare, the jobs are split between UnitedHealthcare's health benefits business and Optum's health services business. The new jobs include customer service representatives, claims processers, nurses and clinicians.
"UnitedHealth Group has been an important business partner in Greensboro for many years, and we are pleased it has made the decision to expand and create new jobs in our community," said Greensboro Mayor Robbie Perkins. "These new positions will help people who are seeking a quality job and provide an economic boost to the region.
UnitedHealth Group serves nearly 900,000 people across the state and employs more than 4,000 North Carolinians. The health care provider is networked with more than 130 hospitals and 20,000 health care workers.
"North Carolina is creating new opportunities to improve the economy and bring dependable employment to the people who live here. Coupled with the state's commitment to improving access to higher-quality health care for consumers, we believe this is a great community to continue expanding our business," said Garland Scott, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of North Carolina.
Some of the open positions have already been posted online. You can find them on UnitedHealth Group's website.
United Healthcare realized the company needed to expand after it increased its number of customers. In the past year, UHC added between 1.5-2 million members.
"There has been a ton of work that has gone on. It's been driven by growth, both nationally and locally. We've been working on that over the past few years and accelerating. Part of that is tied to large customers growing nationally and being able to support their needs," UnitedHealthcare CEO Garland Scott said.
United Healthcare could have expanded anywhere. What key qualities do executives look for when they want to expand? City Council Member Zack Matheny told WFMY News 2 it's all about the workforce, "They met with us and met with our workforce development to really determine if there was a workforce they could hire. That's one of the most important things companies look for - is there ample workforce to actually go to work?"
City leaders assured UnitedHealthcare our area has the workers who are ready, skilled and able to fill those jobs. In many cases, companies ask for incentives or special perks from the city, the county or the state. However, United Healthcare didn't ask for anything.
Greensboro Partnership CEO Pat Danahy said this latest job announcement is just another indication the economy is moving forward.
"I really believe with the slow growth and the progress we've had over the past two or three years, [businesses are] now at a point where they need to expand. They almost have to expand. They just don't have the resources to manage their business going forward," Danahy said.