CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The economy is giving people fits. Credit rating confusion. Stocks are up and down, like a bell curve.
But today, Charlotte's got Connextions. And jobs. Lots and lots of jobs. A company that's new to town has started hiring hundreds of people.
We told you this was coming months ago, when Connextions decided to move in.
Now, it's official. Well-paying jobs when people need them the most.
The company is about helping people wade through the health care minefield.
We've heard about companies making promises of jobs coming again and again. Well, here's a company that's delivering right now and they're hiring like crazy.
"Exactly 70 days ago this building was nothing but a shell."
"1 - 2 - 3."
And in less than 3 months they were making it official.
Connextions the company - making connections with people.
Todd Baxter is the chief operations officer.
"We're hiring at a rate of 10 people per hour," Baxter told an afternoon news conference.
The company Connextions (spelled with an X in the middle) works for some of the country's top health insurers acting as facilitators between the companies and their customers.
And selling health insurance plans to individuals and small businesses. Doing mostly call-center work.
With the governor here, they announced last April that they were coming. It's one of the biggest jobs announcements in Charlotte in years.
The company is immediately hiring 1,200 people. 800 in Charlotte. 400 in Concord where it already employs 600 workers.
Cara Morris got hired. After working years in real estate - on commission - she was looking for something that came with a steady paycheck.
"Even though I loved real estate I just felt like I needed to pursue something that was more solid and I had more of a future," she said.
With the Baby Boomer generation turning 65 a huge segment of the population will need health care and health insurance. It's why Connextions is expanding.
Connextions provides services to six of the 7 national health insurance carriers.
David Armstrong will run the Charlotte office.
"We help people navigate sometimes what can be a very complex and some say even broken health care system," said Armstrong.
Though the cubicles are empty now, they won't be for long. The company plans to have all 800 Charlotte positions filled by this fall.
It's hosting job fairs on site.
Pay starts at about $39,000 a year. Not far off the Mecklenburg county household average of $45,000 a year.
For those who aren't licensed insurance agents Connextions trains new hires to be able to pass state insurance exams.
"I'm impressed with the training," said recent hire Cara Morris. "I've very impressed with the on-line program and mentoring."
The company moved into a vacant office building off Arrowood Road in southwest Charlotte.
Connextions joins two other firms that have call centers in the same block, Zenta and the American Red Cross which operates its east coast telerecruitment center for blood.
For more information on Connextions jobs visit http://jobs.connextions.com