HAGERSTOWN -- First Data Merchant Services, the nation's largest credit card transaction processing company, plans to add 200 jobs to the 300 positions already announced for an expansion in Hagerstown this year.
Most of the 500 new jobs will be filled locally, said Mark Reuling, the company's vice president of operations.
Hagerstown "is a very good area for the work ethic," Mr. Reuling said. "We've been very pleased with the quality of the community."
First Data Merchant Services now employs 1,074 people in Washington County, Mr. Reuling said.
The company is a subsidiary of First Data Corp. of Hackensack, N.J., which had revenues of $4.1 billion in 1995. The parent company employs 36,000 worldwide.
The new jobs will range from clerical to management positions, with an average salary of about $21,000 to $22,000, Mr. Reuling said.
"I think that is a very positive sign for this community," said Gregory I. Snook, president of the Washington County Commissioners.
While the company is expanding in Hagerstown, it is closing a facility in Melville, N.Y., this fall, said Melissa Baron, a First Data spokeswoman in Omaha, Neb. The 200 people working there will have the option of moving to a Sunrise, Fla., facility or applying for other First Data jobs, she said.
The company also plans to consolidate some customer service operations in Nashville, Tenn., and Long Island, N.Y., Mr. Reuling said, and some employees at those operations may be transferred here.
Last month, officials at Staples Inc., in Westboro, Mass., announced plans to open a distribution center west of Hagerstown that would employ 700 people by 1998.
The First Data expansion will provide more job opportunities for people in the community because the company will require different skills than those at Staples' facility, said Beverly Baccala, economic development coordinator for the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission.
The company, which earlier planned a 64,000-square-foot addition, plans 125,000 square feet instead that will include space for expanding the company's computer processing center, Mr. Reuling said. He would not discuss expansion costs.
Pub Date: 5/01/96