Business

ACS to expand in Lexington, add 700 jobs

ACS announced Monday that the international company is expanding to its fifth location in Lexington, with 700 new call-center jobs.

About 200 jobs are permanent full-time positions, with another 200 temporary jobs expected to become permanent in the next six months, said Connie Harvey, an ACS group president. About 200 jobs have been filled, and some jobs are scheduled to start in the next month.

Entry-level jobs will pay about $10 an hour; temporary jobs will not have benefits.

"We're probably the largest company that most people in Lexington have never heard of," Harvey said.

ACS, which handles non-core business functions such as mailroom and phone lines, employs about 4,000 people in Kentucky, including about 2,000 in Lexington. It has 130,000 employees in 160 countries, according to its Web site.

She said ACS selected its new building, on West New Circle Road across from Lexmark, to pull from a different geographic pool of job seekers. She said the company, which was bought earlier this year by Xerox, anticipates applicants from Frankfort, Georgetown and other communities within about a 20-minute commute.

Harvey said ACS has received state tax incentives in the past, but this opportunity developed too quickly to allow for that.

Mayor Jim Newberry said the announcement "could hardly come at a better time for our community." Newberry said the jobs come as the health-care and tech sectors of Lexington's economy are showing growth.

Bob Quick, president and chief executive of Commerce Lexington, said the computer-services sector in Central Kentucky grew about 148 percent from 1998 to 2006, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Quick said the expansion will mean new payroll and property taxes for the city and the school district, and auxiliary jobs in revamping the building.

ACS is investing $10 million in the renovations to a floor of Building 200 on the Lexmark campus. The space has been for lease since late last year, when Lexmark began consolidating inside New Circle Road.

The bulk of the jobs are customer-care positions for four health insurance companies that are expanding and will be handling re-enrollment over the next six to seven months, with some jobs in training, supervising and managing.

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