Nationwide to outsource some jobs; up to 500 layoffs possible

Mark Williams - The Columbus Dispatch (TNS)

Nationwide said Thursday that it is switching some of its commercial insurance processing operations to an outside vendor, a move that could cost up to 500 jobs.

None of the potential layoffs are in central Ohio.

The Columbus-based insurer said the scope of the job losses is unclear because it needs to determine over the next several months exactly what work will transfer and when.

Affected workers will be able to apply for other openings within the company. Nationwide currently has 1,200 jobs available.

Of the affected positions, 200 are in Des Moines, Iowa, and 175 in Gainesville, Florida. The rest are in small pockets throughout the country.

Laid-off workers will receive more than 60 days’ notice and will be offered severance pay and job-placement assistance.

Nationwide said Des Moines continues to be an important employment base for the insurer, with total employment there expected to remain around 3,300 workers.

Nationwide said there are no plans to close the Gainesville office.

The affected positions are workers who primarily process new business applications and handle policy changes and correspondence. Nationwide said it is one of the last insurers to make the switch to a third party to handle this work.

The announcement comes as the insurer has launched a five-year, $160 million initiative to upgrade worker skills.

Those affected by Thursday’s announcement will be given an option to participate in programs available under the initiative, which are meant to prepare workers for the jobs Nationwide anticipates it will need in the future.

Mark Williams

The Columbus Dispatch (TNS)

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