Aflac President and Chief Operating Officer Paul S. Amos II today announced that Aflac, the company that pays cash benefits fast to policyholders who are sick or injured, will expand its operations at Aflac Group Insurance in Columbia, South Carolina, by even more than what was initially announced in September of 2010.
Mr. Amos was joined by Chris Goodall, CEO of Aflac Group Insurance (Continental American Insurance Company), South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin, South Carolina Insurance Commissioner David Black, and other local dignitaries, elected officials and employees at a ribbon cutting ceremony officially opening the company' newly leased office space at 400 Laurel Street.
The ongoing success of Aflac Group Insurance in Columbia means great things for Aflac, the city of Columbia and the people of South Carolina, Mr. Amos said. Today, we are not only opening a new office, but announcing further expansion in terms of office space and expected job creation. Together, Aflac Group and South Carolina are making things happen in a very positive way.
In 2010, Aflac Group Insurance hired more than 50 people for permanent positions and 60 temporary workers. At a news conference in September 2010, the company further stated its plan to hire 50-75 new workers in 2011 and leased the new space on Laurel Street to accommodate the growing number of employees.
Due to continued growth in business, however, the company is revising its outlook upward; anticipating the need to fill more than 100 new jobs in 2011, 30 of which are expected in the first quarter of the year. Total job growth for 2010 and 2011 combined is expected to exceed 140 new jobs, ranging from entry level to management, raising the aggregate number of employees at Aflac Group Insurance on Devine Street and Laurel Street to more than 300. To accommodate the anticipated growth, Aflac is leasing an additional 13,000 square feet of space on the 3rd floor at 400 Laurel Street in addition to the existing space on the 5th floor.
When we transitioned to Aflac Group Insurance, people wondered if a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Georgia would commit to South Carolina and today we have our answer in the form of job creation in our community, Chris Goodall said. Aflac means business in Columbia, and we are pleased to work with Governor Haley, Mayor Benjamin and Richland County to make sure our presence in Columbia continues to grow.
"We're thrilled to have AFLAC expanding in South Carolina and delivering on its commitment to our state, which now means 100 new jobs this year," said Gov. Haley. "When we work to cut the amount of red-tape on our businesses, reduce our tax burden and fight to protect our right to work status, business flourishes in South Carolina and it's a big win for our state."
Aflac' announcement today is further evidence that Columbia is on the move, Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin said. The atmosphere we are creating here with business, government, and community leaders all working together is at the core of what makes this an attractive city for any business to locate and expand. Aflac Group has been a major part of that effort and we look forward to working with them on their continued rapid expansion and persistent success in our city.
Aflac' 30-year history in Richland County is a testament to the business friendly environment that this county strives to uphold. We are proud that Aflac calls Richland County home, and with this most recent announcement, further cements its presence in the County well into the future. We have great expectations for this international, Fortune 500 Company, and look forward to assisting with, and securing, their success and growth in Richland County well into the future, said Paul Livingston, Chair of Richland County Council.
When a policyholder gets sick or hurt, Aflac pays cash benefits fast. For more than 55 years, Aflac insurance policies have given policyholders the opportunity to focus on recovery, not financial stress. In the United States, Aflac is the number one provider of guaranteed-renewable insurance. In Japan, Aflac is the number one insurance company in terms of individual insurance policies in force. Aflac insurance products provide protection to more than 50 million people worldwide. For four consecutive years, Aflac has been recognized by Ethisphere magazine as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies and by Forbes magazine as one of America's Best-Managed Companies in the Insurance category. In 2010, Fortune magazine included Aflac on its list of Most Admired Companies for the ninth time and in 2011recognized Aflac as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America for the thirteenth consecutive year. Aflac Incorporated is a Fortune 500 company listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AFL. To find out more about Aflac, visit www.aflac.com.