By: Denise M. Champagne//April 30, 2012
By: Denise M. Champagne//April 30, 2012//
They could have gone anywhere, but chose to expand in Monroe County.
That was the message Monday of several dignitaries who gathered to announce a decision by Maximus Federal Services to invest nearly $1.7 million for a new Medicare appeals back office operation in Pittsford.
Bruce Caswell, president and general manager of Maximus Health Services, said the expansion will bring 320 jobs to Monroe County by midsummer, mostly from its Pennsylvania operations.
The move also saves 159 jobs in Victor and Fairport. Those employees will be absorbed into the new 46,000-square-foot office at 3750 Monroe Ave., which will launch operations around May 15. Another 30 jobs are expected to be added within five years.
Maximus, headquartered in Reston, Va., provides program administration support to major government health programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
Lt. Gov. Robert J. Duffy said Maximus, which he noted has already grown beyond expectations, has a lot of opportunities and options, but chose to expand in Monroe County.
He attributed that to a team effort by the state and various partnering agencies in Monroe County such as Greater Rochester Enterprise, where the announcement was made.
“Maximus is being recruited by other states, as well, and we’re happy New York won,” Duffy said, noting Empire State Development provided about $2 million in Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits. Another $202,264 in tax abatements is being provided through the County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency.
Citing Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s marketing initiative, Duffy said “New York is open for business,” adding that it is not easy “turning around a big ship,” especially when other states had a head start.
He said Monroe County is one of the hottest areas in the state for job growth because of its work force.
“What we have here is a tremendous asset for any company,” he said, then joked that Rochester has mild winters without a lot of snow.
GRE President and CEO Mark S. Peterson said Maximus recognized the “depth and breadth” of the county’s “highly skilled and highly educated” work force.
Maximus Federal Services, a division of Maximus, helps government agencies run large programs cost-effectively, assisting every state, as well as government agencies in Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and the Middle East.
Most of the investment will be for furniture, fixtures and equipment during a two-year period. The expansion is expected to result in the creation and retention of almost $120 million in payroll wages.
The new office will be used to help deliver program services in support of Maximus’ Medicare appeals work with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
The specialized services will be provided by a local team of professional staff including nurses, doctors, physical therapists, health appeals specialists and other professional health clinicians who will make independent determinations about health insurance appeals.
Caswell said Maximus is a $1 billion company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (ticker MMS). Information about jobs may be found at www.maximus.com/careers.
Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks also talked about the company’s choice of Rochester and economic development team work, saying Maximus’ decision to expand in Pittsford speaks to the public and private partnership.
Sen. James S. Alesi, R-Perinton, said the partners all came together to create an environment for a company like Maximus to not only stay in Monroe County, but to expand.
Assemblyman Joseph D. Morelle, D-Irondequoit, also praised Duffy, calling him the quarterback of the state’s economic development team. Duffy oversees the 10 regional economic development councils the governor established last year.
Peterson said Maximus reached out to GRE early on when it was considering expanding so he rallied the partners, noting the environment to attract businesses is very competitive.
“So, what we’re always trying to do is give them exactly what they want,” he said, adding that Maximus is a global company and that its headquarters had to be convinced. “If we bring the right company here and we can meet their needs, they’re going to grow and be successful and that’s how you bring jobs here.”