Strategic Staffing Solutions, a Detroit-based global IT and business services company, announced today that its Downtown Development Center has hit a count of 150 employees that service its major anchor customer, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. 

This announcement comes just five months after the DDC opened on the 26th floor of Downtown Detroit’s Penobscot Building and equals the goal originally announced for the end of 2010.

Through their involvement in the DDC, the Blues, DTE and Wayne County are all placing work at the Penobscot Building in downtown Detroit rather than sending it offshore. To date, the Blues have seeded more than 150 IT workers and the current forecast calls for more than 200 by the end of 2010.

“This is a prime example of how strategic business collaboration and ingenuity between two corporations can serve our businesses and the economic growth of our city, region and state,” said Cynthia J. Pasky, S3 president and CEO. “When we opened the DDC, we made a promise to place 150 jobs here by the end of the year. Our team is well on its way toward exceeding our promise.”

BCBSM president and CEO Daniel J. Loepp said at the opening ceremonies earlier this year that the DDC presented a highly desirable opportunity, not only to gain cost efficiency, but to invest in Detroit and to serve as an incubator for “insourcing” jobs in Detroit and Michigan.

“The fact that we’ve surpassed 150 people seeded at the DDC, doing IT application development and other work for the Blues, is strong evidence the Center is working and momentum is building behind the concept,” Loepp said.

As an example of that momentum, he cited the fact that Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana recently reached an agreement with S3 to route some of its call center functions through the DDC, with local Michigan workers doing the jobs from downtown Detroit.

BCBSM expects to reach a steady state of 300 IT professionals housed at the DDC in 2011. Wayne County currently has people performing call center jobs from the DDC and DTE just surpassed 60 workers at the Center.

Those individuals hired to staff the DDC are typically placed in well-paying jobs, with salary ranges up to $75,000 per year. Pasky indicated that S3 is intently focused on recruiting Michigan first when it comes to filling these positions. Of those hired so far, 84 percent are Michigan residents and the other 16 percent have relocated to Southeast Michigan.

S3 has United States branch locations in Detroit; Atlanta, Ga.; Boston, Mass.; Los Angeles, Calif.; San Francisco, Calif.; Charlotte, N.C.; Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Chicago, Ill.; Minneapolis, Minn.; New Orleans, La.; New York City; Philadelphia, Pa.; Richmond, Va.; St. Louis, Mo.; and Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Austin in Texas. Internationally, S3 has locations in Vilnius, Lithuania and London, England.

S3 provides consulting and staff augmentation services, vendor management programs, executive search services, call center technology and an IT development center to financial institutions, energy companies, telecommunications, government agencies, retail and health care industries.

(c) 2010, WWJ Newsradio 950. All rights reserved.


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