Lightfoot, Discover announce new customer care center in Chatham

Mayor Lori Lightfoot joined Discover Financial Services on Thursday to announce plans for a new Chicago-based Discover customer care center in Chicago’s Chatham neighborhood.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot joined Discover Financial Services on Thursday to announce plans for a new Chicago-based Discover customer care center in Chicago’s Chatham neighborhood. Photo credit City of Chicago

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) – A new customer care center in coming to Chicago’s Chatham neighborhood as part of the city's INVEST South/West initiative.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot joined Discover Financial Services on Thursday to announce plans for a new Chicago-based Discover customer care center in Chicago’s Chatham neighborhood.

Once fully operational, the center, located at 86th Street and Cottage Grove, will provide nearly 1,000 full-time jobs to local residents. Most of the positions will be for customer care representatives with an hourly wage of more than $17. Full-time employees will receive Discover’s full benefits package, which includes health insurance, a 401k plan, eligibility for 20 days minimum of paid time off, a focus on career development, and the opportunity to receive a free college education effective upon the first day of employment.

“Expanding equity and opportunity across Chicago is possible thanks to the investment and support of corporate partners like Discover,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “More than just creating new jobs, this center represents the latest step in our citywide mission to unlock the huge swaths of talent in neighborhoods like Chatham through bold initiatives such as INVEST South/West, which will strengthen both our communities and companies, and fuel Chicago’s economy for decades to come.”

The customer care center supports Mayor Lightfoot’s INVEST South/West community improvement initiative and will offer job opportunities and economic development beyond Chatham to residents of INVEST South/West neighborhoods including Roseland, Pullman, Auburn Gresham, South Shore and South Chicago. This project also fully supports the Together We Rise for an Equitable and Just Recovery initiative to help ensure a fair and equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Discover and its employees are committed to helping people achieve brighter financial futures, which we can best achieve in Chicago by bringing jobs to the area and having direct and long-term involvement with the city,” said Roger Hochschild, CEO and President of Discover. “We fully support Mayor Lightfoot’s call to action for Chicago companies to bring quality jobs directly to communities that need them. Discover recognizes that traditional corporate site selection has contributed to issues of unequal opportunity in our society, and we want to be part of the solution. We hope our commitment to Chatham will serve as a springboard for further economic development in the area; and we’re excited to work with residents and community leaders and add to our award-winning customer service team.”

The 100,000+ square-foot customer care center will offer secured parking with more than 500 parking spots and is conveniently located within a short distance from the 87th St. Red Line Stop, Metra’s 87th St. Station, and major bus routes. The facility will also offer 5,000 square feet of internal/external space to be used for large group gatherings, training, and conference rooms that Discover will make available to community-based organizations, and hosting community service events. Discover also plans to seek community input on utilization of the space.

Discover will soon be posting leadership job opportunities, followed by customer service agent job opportunities in April, with plans to hire a first class of agents to start in June. These positions will be housed at the Chatham facility in a temporary space until the full facility is open by the end of 2021.

While the intent is to have employees in the center start off working in-person, Discover is prepared to offer a work from home option if necessary and have processes in place should the COVID-19 pandemic continue to threaten the health and safety of employees.

The plan is to hire and train more than 100 call agents this year, and eventually fill nearly 1,000 positions over the next four years. Individuals and organizations wanting to learn more about Discover and job opportunities at their new Chatham facility can visit www.discover.com/shinebright.