Assurant Group announced the completion of an 18,000 square-foot, multimillion-dollar addition to its Lawton, Okla., customer contact center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and facility tours for local government and business leaders. The Atlanta, Ga.-based specialty risk management products and services provider said the expansion has enabled it to relocate business from other company facilities to Lawton and to increase employment here from 230 to about 400 over the past 12 months.
“We continue to be very pleased with our experience in Oklahoma,” said John Owen, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Assurant. “In less than three years, this facility has become our largest customer contact center, responsible for serving several of our largest and most important clients.”
Assurant’s original 36,000 square-foot facility at 6500 West Gore Blvd. opened in March 2001. The multimillion-dollar expansion completed this past spring will enable Assurant to increase the facility’s call-handling capacity by about 60 percent and accommodate a total staff of over 500.
The company said its contact center operations are growing significantly. It expects inbound volume to increase by a half million calls to about 5.8 million in 2003.
In addition to Lawton, Assurant also operates call centers in Miami, Fla., and Toronto, Ontario. In September, the company will complete relocation of the Toronto operation to a new center in Kingston, Ontario, where staff began accepting calls on July 21.
Tapp Development Corp. of Oklahoma City, Okla., developed the original Lawton call center and handled the expansion. Total cost of the project, including construction and equipment, is estimated at about $4 million. Assurant leases the site.
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