A reorganization will result in about 50 fewer jobs at one of the city's biggest employers.
Sallie Mae is vacating a building and cutting jobs in Lawrence as part of a national reorganization.
In meetings that continued Thursday, employees of Sallie Mae's student loan servicing center were being told of plans that by next year will result in the loss of about 50 jobs. The company also will be vacating space that it has leased since 1992 at 110 McDonald Drive.
``This is a continuation of what we've been doing over the past three to four years,'' said Elaine Nelson, Sallie Mae vice president of Kansas operations. ``We've been consolidating operations regionally to create specialized centers instead of broad functional centers.''
That means some processing and loan origination departments are being moved out to centers in Florida, Pennsylvania and Texas, and other operations are being moved in.
In its reorganized form, the Lawrence center will focus on default and post-default operations such as skip tracing, claims processing, collections and account resolution.
At its peak about two years ago, Sallie Mae employed about 600 people at two locations in Lawrence. That number has since been reduced by attrition, Nelson said, to today's level of about 530.
When the reorganization is complete next year, the company will have about 475 employees.
``With that job reduction and anticipated further reduction,'' Nelson said, ``we can easily fit back into our original building.''
Sallie Mae operated out of its original building at 2000 Bluffs Drive until 1992, when it leased 48,000 square feet at 101 McDonald Drive. Nelson said the company would move out of that building next summer. Its lease expires next September.
Sallie Mae, a publicly traded company based in Virginia, had 1997 sales of $3.78 billion. It employs more than 4,000 people nationally. It backs student loans and other higher-education financing.
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