Global Payments adding 275 jobs

September 13, 2007|By Jamie Smith Hopkins | Jamie Smith Hopkins,Sun reporter

A payment processing services company said yesterday that it is adding 275 workers to its 525-employee operation in Owings Mills, part of a consolidation effort.

Global Payments Inc., based in Atlanta, said that many of the employees have been hired and that it expects to finish expanding to the 800-job mark this fall. The work is being moved from St. Louis. The company opted to close its technical support center in that city to combine it with the operations center in Owings Mills.

"We've been fortunate with the quality of the staff we've hired, and it's a great location for expansion," said Paul R. Garcia, chairman, president and chief executive of Global Payments. "It was a pretty easy decision."

FOR THE RECORD - Because of inaccurate information provided by Baltimore County, a story that ran in the business section Sept. 13 incorrectly called T. Rowe Price the county's largest private employer. Greater Baltimore Medical Center holds that distinction. (Unpublished correction)

The jobs, primarily customer support, have wages that start at $26,000 and can go "significantly" higher, the company said. It's looking for people, particularly those who can speak both English and Spanish, to work with clients in need of technical assistance - merchants who accept credit cards, debit cards and checks. The company processes billions of business and consumer payment transactions a year, including money transfers.

As part of the expansion, Global Payments recently made the site a round-the-clock operation.

The company opened the Owings Mills office six years ago when it moved several hundred employees there from Hanover. Now twice the size of the Atlanta headquarters, the facility employs more than any other companywide.

"We're really excited about this," said Fronda J. Cohen, a spokeswoman for the Baltimore County Department of Economic Development.

Unemployment is averaging 3.9 percent in the county this year, a low rate and better than the national number. Cohen said the company, which is getting help from the county to find employees, is using flexible schedules as a recruitment strategy.

Garcia said hiring has gone well, in part because the cluster of similar back-office companies in the area means a built-in pool of workers.

Owings Mills businesses account for at least a quarter of the county's financial services jobs - about 8,400. Cohen can think of nearly a dozen significant companies, from Visa to CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, that have sizable outposts in the northwestern Baltimore County community or are based there.

T. Rowe Price Group Inc., the Baltimore mutual fund company, employs about 2,600 in Owings Mills, making it the county's largest private employer.

jamie.smith.hopkins@baltsun.com

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