DANVILLE, Va. – UPDATE
Governor Ralph Northam announced Thursday that PRA Group, Inc. will invest fifteen point one million dollars to open a call center in Danville, creating 500 new jobs, 375 of which will be create in the first year.
The 500 jobs will have an average salary of more than $38,000.
Company CEO Kevin Stevenson said multiple locations, including Martinsville, Harrisonburg, and Danville, were considered for the call center.
"We strive to put our centers in smaller areas with certain economic demographics," Stevenson said. "We look for things like good employment rates, average housing prices. Again, we do look for infrastructure. We look for some access to higher education."
The call center will be located in the building where the Telvista call center was until closing earlier this year.
Stevenson said his company specializes in buying loans from banks.
"They're going to have all sorts of non-performing loans, generally things that have been charged off," he said. "We buy the loan and then we work it out over the long term."
Gov. Northam said making Thursday's announcement possible has taken a village.
"I thank all of you. The VEDP, our secretary of commerce, Cassidy, thank you for being here. All of your local officials, everybody that's been part of this," Northam said.
Danville mayor Alonzo Jones was so happy, he almost broke into song at the announcement.
"I feel like singing Joy to the World, Mr. Governor. I just feel like singing right now," Jones said after walking to the podium to speak to the crowd gathered for the announcement.
A feeling that is likely shared by many, especially five days before Christmas and especially by those who could soon have one of the 500 jobs.
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A company that buys nonperforming loans will make a major investment that will create hundreds of jobs in Danville.
Gov. Ralph Northam announced Thursday that PRA Group, Inc. will invest $15.1 million to establish a new call center in Danville. The company plans to create 500 jobs, with 375 of those created in the first year.
The company will move into the building where Telvista used to be. Telvista is a call center company that closed earlier this year.
Hiring will begin in the spring, and the average annual wage will be $38,000.