Work-from-home plan by business with nearly 1,900 Kettering jobs expected to hit city hard

Synchrony, a major employer in Kettering, has announced it will have its workforce performs their jobs at home after the COVID-19 pandemic ends. FILE
Synchrony, a major employer in Kettering, has announced it will have its workforce performs their jobs at home after the COVID-19 pandemic ends. FILE

Credit: FILE

Credit: FILE

KETTERING – One of the city’s largest employers will leave Kettering Business Park next year as part of a shift to have its global workforce perform jobs at home, an outgrowth of COVID-19 that’s expected to negatively impact local tax revenues.

Synchrony Financial, which has nearly 1,900 employees in Kettering, informed its workers of that news Tuesday, a senior company official for the Stamford, Conn-based business told the Dayton Daily News.

Kettering officials said Tuesday they were aware of the decision, which “will significantly impact the city’s income tax revenues in a negative manner moving forward.”

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Earlier this year, the business was close to a 10-year deal to stay in the Kettering Business Park, but the lease was never signed, said Lisa Lanspery, Synchrony senior vice president of public relations.

Synchrony, Kettering’s fourth largest employer, is looking for space in the “Kettering and Dayton areas” it can provide workers on a “reservation-based” time frames when needed, Lanspery said.

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City officials “have been working with Synchrony’s leadership team since late 2019 regarding future plans for leasing the Kettering facility,” according to Mary Azbill, Kettering community information manager.

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“The city will immediately begin working with the building owner at 950 Forrer Boulevard to locate potential future tenants and determine next steps for economic growth,” Azbill said in an email. “We wish Synchrony all the best and hope to continue to work together to fulfill future needs.”

Synchrony is a consumer financial services company working with several industries, including retail, health, auto, travel and home, according to its website.

The move is part of a new strategy the company that employs 17,000 globally announced Tuesday, Lanspery said.

Ohio is home to many of the company’s jobs and Kettering is “one of the largest” locations, she said.

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The strategy is “part of a broader effort to help drive efficiency, flexibility and innovation in a new way of working strategy. And we believe this is going to change how we work and transform our company and culture,” Lanspery said.

Synchrony’s employees have been performing their jobs from home since late March, after many businesses shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, she said.

In late March, the Dayton Daily News reported Synchrony Financial deployed thousands of laptops to provide its call center workers in Kettering the tools to work from home.

The DDN also reported Synchrony’s 400,000-square-foot Kettering office is the largest in the company with employees focused on operations, risk, fraud, IT, collections, finance, sales and marketing.

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Employees had been scheduled not to return to Kettering Business Park until at least January 2021, Lanspery added.

While evaluating new ways of working, Synchrony is “constantly evaluating our site footprint,” she said. On Tuesday, it informed Kettering employees “that we’re going to be reducing the size of our footprint, moving our physical location and all of our employees in Kettering will now work from home full-time even after the pandemic.”

Synchrony’s decision is “in tandem” with the findings of a company survey, which indicated “our employees have requested that they want to work from home longer and they feel safer working from home overall,” Lanspery said.

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TOP CITY EMPLOYERS

•Kettering Medical Center

•Kodak

•Reynolds & Reynolds Co.

•Synchrony Financial

•Tenneco

•Mast Global Digital

SOURCE: City of Kettering