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Jax Daily Record Friday, Apr. 21, 2017 2 months ago

General Dynamics adding Jacksonville jobs

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General Dynamics Information Technology is adding jobs at its North Jacksonville operations center.

A “virtual hiring event” is scheduled 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday for prospects “to learn about endless opportunities in Information Technology, Sales, Accounting, Finance, Customer Service, Human Resources, Engineering, and Clinical as well as so much more” in Jacksonville.

A link on the website will go live the day of the event.

Visit gdit.com/careers/virtual-jobs/call-center/ for more information.

It’s not clear how many jobs are available, though.

Job postings show several openings, including a recruiter for its Health and Civilian Solutions Division. It also seeks a training specialist to join its Consumer Finance Protection Bureau “in sunny Jacksonville, Florida.”

Another posting is for a customer service representative on the Debt Management and Collection System contract.

The federal and commercial contractor did not have a lot to say beyond acknowledging the project.

“We do have a contact center at the facility in Jacksonville. Our employees there provide call center support services for a number of different customers,” said spokesman Mark Meudt by email.

“And we are expanding our current space to accommodate our business at this contact center location,” he said.

The city is reviewing a permit application for Dav-Lin Interior Contractors to renovate space at 1 Imeson Park Blvd., No. 100, for the company to expand.

The $352,662 project includes partitions, painting, electrical and plumbing work, HVAC and more build-out.

Plans show offices and open office areas, conference rooms, four training rooms, and reception, breakroom, lounge and locker-room space.

It shows 50,462 square feet of space as the current tenant area. A plan indicated “future space” but that did not show any build-out.

While Meudt did not provide an employment number, the plan states that the “existing actual occupancy” is 355 and the “new actual occupancy” would add 84 people.

General Dynamics Information Technology opened the operations center at One Imeson in the Imeson International Industrial Park in late 2014.

At the time, it said it would hire about 100 employees.

As a business unit of industrial giant General Dynamics, Information Technology opened the project “to support rapidly growing contact center operations for federal government customers,” said a statement from the company then.

The company said there would be no sales, collections or telemarketing and it sought candidates with a high-school diploma or GED, with six months of customer service experience and preferably call-center experience, the ability to read and speak English proficiently and the ability to pass a background check, among other requirements.

It said General Dynamics Information Technology offered company-paid benefits and would operate Monday-Saturday. Hours and shifts would vary based on customer needs.

In 2014, Dav-Lin was approved to build-out almost 50,500 square feet of office space at a cost of $1.5 million, three times the amount first listed on the permit application.

That indicates the current permit might be adjusted.

That initial space could accommodate about 300 employees. The company said additional positions would depend on customer needs.

Initial job postings in 2014 included a facilities supervisor, customer service specialist and customer service representatives.

General Dynamics Information Technology is one of four business units of the General Dynamics Information Systems and Technology business segment of General Dynamics, which is based in Falls Church, Va.

General Dynamics Information Technology provides IT, systems engineering, professional services and simulation and training to customers in the defense, federal civilian government, health, homeland security, intelligence, state and local government and commercial sectors.

Information Technology is based in Fairfax, Va.

One Imeson was developed in 1974 as a Sears catalog sales distribution center. The building contains about 1.6 million square feet of distribution and warehouse space along with office space.

The office space previously served as an America Online call center and as an operations center for Prudential and Aetna Inc.

Fidelity to renovate existing building

As Fidelity Investments prepares space for 300 jobs in Building 100 at the Deerwood North campus, it also is planning on renovating its existing offices in Building 400.

A permit application shows that Brasfield & Gorrie LLC would renovate space on all four floors of the structure at a project cost of $1.5 million.

That address is 4601 Touchton Road E., No 400.

The project scope is to update finishes, light fixtures and furniture and to reconfigure spaces leased by Fidelity Investments.

In March, a permit application showed Brasfield & Gorrie LLC would renovate 58,000 square feet on the third and fourth floors in Building 100 at a project cost of $800,000.

Those plans show offices, open office space, meeting rooms, a café and seating area, learning centers, a lounge area and other functions.

It also uses space on the third floor.

Fidelity Investments pledged to the city and state that it would create 300 more jobs by year-end 2018.

Spokeswoman Kathleen Bentley said in March the Building 100 space will accommodate current employees and those that might be needed in the future.

Bentley said then that the company has about 900 employees in Jacksonville “and continues to grow and hire, making progress toward the multiyear jobs goal we announced in 2015.”

She also said Fidelity would renovate its existing space.

Fidelity leases the majority of Building 400. Bentley said Buildings 100 and 400 will accommodate the current and future employees.

The city and state agreed to $2.6 million in taxpayer incentives for Fidelity to add the financial services, investment banking and IT support jobs.

Fidelity said the jobs would pay an average annual salary of $64,356, and the company will invest at least $13 million in real estate improvements, IT equipment, furniture and other items.

Florida Plastic OK’d for build-out

Orlando-based Florida Plastic Recycling was approved for a 30,571-square-foot build-out at 5220 New Kings Road. S&K Development is the contractor for the $100,000 project.

The space comprises a factory and office space, including production areas, quality control, a control room and break room.

At the February JAXUSA Partnership quarterly meeting, chair Tim Cost said the company is taking 100,000 square feet in Northwest Jacksonville, creating 30 jobs and making a $7 million capital investment.

JAXUSA is the economic-development division of JAX Chamber.

Dunkin’ Donuts franchise to open 5 more sites

Dunkin’ Donuts said it signed a multi-unit store development agreement with existing franchise group FLMS Foods Inc. to develop five new restaurants in Jacksonville and Fernandina Beach and in Brunswick, Ga. The first restaurant is planned to open in the fall.

FLMS Foods Inc. is led by Alex F. Fernandez and his two sons and partners, Alex D. and Randy Fernandez. The group joined the Dunkin’ Donuts brand in 2011 and currently owns and operates six Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in Jacksonville and six in Tampa.

FLMS also plans to open two more locations in the Tampa area. As part of the new multi-store development agreement, the group plans to develop new locations in Nassau County and in Camden, Pierce, and Glynn counties in Georgia, among others.

Grant Benson, Dunkin’ Brands senior vice president of franchising and development, said the deal is part of its long-term goal of developing 17,000 Dunkin’ Donuts in the U.S.

Dunkin’ Donuts offers flexible formats including free-standing restaurants, end caps, in-line sites, gas and convenience, travel plazas and universities, as well as other retail environments.

Rue21 closing 2 area stores

The Rue21 teen-clothing retailer will close two of its six area stores as part of nationwide cutback of 400 locations.

Its website shows it will close at OakLeaf Town Center in Jacksonville and at the St. Augustine Outlets.

The four area stores remaining open are listed as River City Marketplace, Hodges Pointe Plaza, Orange Park Mall and Palatka Commons.

JAA signs with Lyft

The Jacksonville Aviation Authority said Thursday it signed an agreement with ridesharing company Lyft Inc. to become the first transportation networking company to legally pick up fares at Jacksonville International Airport. The agreement runs May 1 through April 30, 2018.

The agreement requires that all Lyft drivers have a valid Florida driver’s license and valid personal automobile insurance meeting the minimum requirements for the State of Florida.

Drivers also must have completed a DMV record check and criminal history check, and their vehicle must pass a 19-point inspection.

Regal lobby bar, Pancheros OK’d

The city approved the permit Thursday to add a bar at the Regal Avenues Stadium 20 at 9525 Philips Highway. Benning Construction Co. is the contractor for the $113,438 project. Plans show a lobby bar with 11 seats.

Also approved was the $200,000 tenant build-out for Pancheros Mexican Grill, an Iowa-based chain, at Beach and Hodges boulevards. Ticon Inc. will renovate almost 2,800 square feet of space for Pancheros at 13423 Beach Blvd., Unit 104.

Franchisee Joe Logan said previously it will be the first of at least three locations. He said the fast-casual restaurant will seat 90.

Kmathis@jaxdailyrecord.com

@MathisKb

(904) 356-2466

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