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110 Charlotte MetLife workers start Wednesday

MetLife’s new Charlotte hub springs to life Wednesday, as the first batch of employees begin work.

On Tuesday, Eric Steigerwalt, head of the New York-based life insurance company’s U.S. retail operation, which is being consolidated to Charlotte, said the first 110 workers will start receiving training Wednesday.

Of that number, 75 percent have been hired from the Charlotte area, Steigerwalt said. The remainder are MetLife employees who relocated from across the U.S.

The 110 include positions in sales, finance, product development and management, and legal and compliance, Steigerwalt said.

Steigerwalt, who moved to Waxhaw this year to head the hub, said it will house 500 workers by the end of the year. That’s roughly one-third the number MetLife has said it will ultimately employ in the hub in Ballantyne Corporate Park, where 1,300 are expected to work for an average salary of $58,000.

MetLife also is expected to create 1,300 jobs in Cary as part of a new global technology and operations hub there. Steigerwalt said the Cary location has not been announced.

In Charlotte, the company is expected to occupy the entire Gragg Building and part of the Woodward Building, both built by the Bissell Cos.

The 110 employees will work in Gragg, Steigerwalt said. Gragg and Woodward, because they are so new, are still being readied for MetLife to move in, he said. MetLife is using incubator space in SouthPark and Ballantyne while waiting for the final preparations on the buildings.

Steigerwalt said that, in addition to the 110 workers, senior-level MetLife employees have been relocated to Charlotte to work for the hub. When those are added in, its employment rises to about 130, he said.

MetLife is continuing to make hires for the Charlotte hub, he said. The company said it has roughly 250 Charlotte job postings online.

MetLife announced in March that it was opening the hubs in Charlotte and Cary.

Roberts: 704-358-5248 Twitter: @DeonERoberts
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