PORTAGE, Mich. (WOOD) — Portage city officials are vowing to support hundreds of workers losing their jobs as State Farm Auto Insurance leaves the city.
Portage officials planned to meet with the company Friday to see if they could do anything to stop the closure. But Monday, city leaders confirmed the company would be closing its Kalamazoo Operations Center at 5538 Portage Road in 2019.
State Farm will give its 600 Portage employees two choices: transfer to an operations center outside of Michigan or find another job.
Portage city leaders say helping workers affected by the transition will be the city’s top priority. Portage plans to work with the state, Southwest Michigan First and State Farm to help those impacted by the closure.
“State Farm Automobile Insurance has been a significant part of the Portage family since 1997. State Farm’s contribution to the community has been considerable and their departure will be felt deeply. Providing important jobs and tax base, State Farm has been an important economic and social asset to Portage. State Farm’s employees are our citizens, friends and neighbors and the company’s future well-being is our top concern,” the city said in its Monday news release.
The center in Portage handles claims, underwriting and other customer service. It’s among 11 centers State Farm will close over the next eight years.
The moves come as State Farm announced a pre-tax operating loss of more than $1 billion last year.