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Logistics company to hire hundreds

Sieke

A strategic partnership between a Britain-based contractor and a global relocation company could lead to several hundred new jobs for Fort Wayne, an official said Monday.

Hiring could begin as soon as this year, he said.

Serco, an international service company, has signed a long-term, multi-million dollar deal to handle some customer and employee relations for Sirva Inc., a logistics and moving services company.

Steve Sieke, CEO for Serco Global Services in the Americas, said transferring 100 employees to the Serco payroll from the Sirva workforce is just the beginning.

The Arlington, Va.-based executive expects Serco will hire “several hundred more people” in Fort Wayne in the next two to three years as it bids for and signs additional service contracts for other employers.

“It’s really a wonderful outcome for everyone,” he said. “This is what we specialize in.”

Serco is already in talks with two existing client companies and two prospective ones for contracts that would place workers in space Serco is leasing from Sirva in Fort Wayne, Sieke said.

The prospect for new local jobs hinges on the company landing those contracts or others.

Fort Wayne’s workforce is highly rated within the services industry, Sieke said, paving the way for Serco to successfully bid on contracts to perform work ranging from basic call center jobs to positions that require more training and expertise.

Sieke was unable to provide a wage range for the prospective jobs because it depends on what each client would want workers to do. Serco offers workers health insurance, vacation and sick days, he said.

The contractor’s typical employee is a recent college graduate, spokeswoman Christie Cox said. About 75 percent of the division’s workers are younger than 30, she said.

Serco employs more than 120,000 workers worldwide, including more than 10,000 in the U.S.

The company has four divisions: United Kingdom and Europe; Americas; Australia, Middle East, Asia and Africa; and Global Services. The Global Services division performs business process outsourcing services to public and private sector clients.

In the case of Sirva, Serco staff will work directly with clients and drivers to organize moves, among other duties.

Sirva was formerly known as Allied Worldwide. The company was created in 1999 with the merger of Fort Wayne-based North American Van Lines and Naperville, Ill.-based Allied Van Lines.

Three Sirva departments are being outsourced to Serco. Although exact duties vary, Serco workers tend to spend most of their days on the telephone.

Sieke said the 100 former Sirva workers will have more opportunities for promotion by working for an organization that specializes in client services. They could potentially work their way up to senior management positions, he said.

“We have a terrific track record of promoting from within,” he said.

Once the company wins additional contracts, its employees and operations will be partitioned off from Sirva’s support services, Sieke said. Operations for each client will be secure, he said.

Serco has an option to lease up to 60,000 square feet at 5001 U.S. 30 West.

Company officials have talked to officials with the Indiana Economic Development Corp. about potential economic incentives.

Any tax incentives or training grants depend on Serco creating new jobs in the area, however.

Anyone interesting in applying for a job with Serco can go online to www.SercoUSjobs.com periodically to check job postings.

sslater@jg.net

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