Columbia to get regional center for Ford Credit

November 21, 1991|By David Conn | David Conn,Annapolis Bureau of The Sun

ANNAPOLIS -- A Ford Motor Co. subsidiary will establish a regional operations center in Columbia that could eventually employ as many as 900 people, state and county officials said yesterday.

The move will bring together employees from Ford Motor Credit Co. offices around Maryland and Northern Virginia, Mark L. Wasserman, Maryland's secretary of economic and employment development, said. By the end of next year, 250 people could be working at the new center in the Three Ponds Business Park, part of the Gateway Business Park near Interstate 95 and Route 175.

The Columbia pilot project will perform administration, customer relations and collections services for Ford Motor Credit's offices in White Marsh, Hunt Valley, Rockville and McLean, Va., according to Jim Bright, a company spokesman in Dearborn, Mich. Some employees will remain in those four offices to provide credit approval and dealer service, he said.

By the middle of next year, 175 people from those offices will move to Columbia, Mr. Bright said, and another 75 will join the office by the end of the year, either through transfers or new hires.

Mr. Bright said transfers or new hires could bring the work force at the center up to 900 by 1997, depending on the success of the project.

The state helped clinch the deal with Ford by offering the company up to $150,000 in employee training funds through two state programs, according to James W. Peiffer, assistant secretary of economic and employment development.

The 50,000-square-foot building at Three Ponds is owned by South Charles Realty, a subsidiary of MNC Financial Inc., which took back the property from Rouse & Associates, a Columbia developer with headquarters in Philadelphia.

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