A monumental event was marked on Monday with the official opening ceremony for the Centene Corporation’s Farmington Service Center.
Centene Farmington, a claims processing center, sits on approximately 22 acres at 105,000-square-feet near Engler Park.
HOK was the architect on the project, with Clayco the contractor.
“It’s our privilege to celebrate this opening with civic leaders, family and friends who are joining us here to share in this event,” said Senior Vice President, Business Operations Ed Gallegos. “This major achievement shows Centene’s symbol of our continued investment and commitment in Farmington. The ability to bring highly-skilled, technically-focused jobs to the area are commendable.”
Chairman and CEO Michael F. Neidorff was introduced by Gallegos to the employees and invited guests on hand.
Prior to the event, Neidorff said he was visiting with former Farmington Mayor Kevin Engler about the steps taken to bring Centene to the community in 2000.
“Farmington is very special,” he said. “If it wasn’t for the employees that were hired in 2000, we wouldn’t be here today. We were a small company with a little claim shop up in Milwaukee.”
Centene Corporation has more than 45,400 employees in 31 states and two international markets.
He noted it was the work of those first Farmington employees that helped the company to grow.
“From the earliest design stages to today’s ceremony, this monumental undertaking deserves our recognition,” Neidorff said, thanking those whose fingerprints are on the building.
He noted the service center and the more than 400 current jobs that go with it could have been built “anywhere in the country.”
“We were proud to continue investing in the people of Farmington,” he said. “We know this workforce will rise to any challenge that we do.
“It would have been difficult to anticipate how much the company would grow in 18 years,” he said, noting it is currently a Fortune 100 company, coming in at 61.
The first facility opened in March of 2000 with 25 employees, with five of the original employees still a part of the company. Neidorff noted those employees saw the original lease on the former building grow into “an ownership of a building that we can all be so proud of.”
“This three-story, state-of-the-art facility, is a cornerstone of Southeast Missouri and this community,” he said.
Neidorff made note of the facility being powered by the Farmington solar farm during the daylight hours.
“Our expansion proves that high-quality jobs can be found across our great state and not just in the big cities,” he said. “As the largest employer in Farmington, Centene is pleased to offer a variety of new, highly-skilled positions to the area.”
Neidorff said the new facility can hold up the 750 employees, with plans to add a minimum of 45 positions in 2018, and 80 initial positions in each of the next three years.
“At the heart of Centene’s business is the vision of caring for the whole person in addition to managing the healthcare of our members,” he said. “We consider how economic, social and educational factors impact the quality of their lives.”
He noted the same holds true for the employees, noting the bistro offering nutritious meals and the on-campus day care facility featuring STEM education programs for the employees of children.
“I’m continually inspired by the enthusiasm of our employees to produce the highest quality work to better serve our members and their commitment to leading by example,” he said. “Specifically, the continued dedication of the Farmington team deserves to be recognized. This is your day. You have set the tone for how we do services around the world.”