For more than 30 years, Kaiser Permanente has been providing health care and coverage to Gwinnett County. Four of our 26 metro Atlanta medical centers are located in this expansive and thriving community. But it is our most recent addition to Gwinnett County—a national contact center that can house 1,000 employees—that made headlines when we celebrated its grand opening earlier this month.
The new Kaiser Permanente Duluth Contact Center, which spans two buildings and 185,000 square feet, is located on Breckinridge Boulevard inside the Gwinnett Place Community Improvement District. In addition to creating 800 new jobs by 2020, we have spent $51 million to purchase and renovate the office complex into a LEED-certified “green” building, further deepening our investment in the community.
Why did a health care organization, which serves more than 10.6 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia, choose 18 acres within the Gwinnett Place CID to locate its fourth national member service contact center? It was a confluence of factors, including the availability and affordability of space, as well as proximity to a pool of qualified talent. Metro Atlanta is the seventh largest market in the U.S. for call center workers.
Expanding our presence within the Gwinnett Place CID reflects our commitment to the economic health of a business community we already consider home. The Kaiser Permanente Gwinnett Comprehensive Medical Center in Duluth, located in the CID just a mile from the new contact center, is one of our oldest and largest medical centers in the state. Five years ago, we invested $52 million to renovate and expand the facility to provide more specialty care to our members in Gwinnett County.
As the largest nonprofit health plan in the state, Kaiser Permanente brings care and coverage together for more than 300,000 Georgians. We believe it is our responsibility to reinvest in the communities where those members live and work. Creating jobs helps communities thrive. By 2020, we will have 5,000 employees and physicians in metro Atlanta—many of whom will call Gwinnett County home.
Mike Wathen is the Vice President of Health Plan Services Administration for Kaiser Permanente of Georgia