Located at 86th Street and Cottage Grove, the center, once fully operational, will provide nearly 1,000 full-time jobs to neighborhood and local residents, the company said in a news release.
Most of the positions will be for customer care representatives, with a starting hourly wage of $17.25. 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.
The project has been in works since 2019.
"Since then, we've seen the impact, the racial justice movement of 2020 and the pandemic have had on our employees, on our customers and our neighbors. Opening this new customer care center is one way Discover can help by delivering on our mission of helping people achieve brighter financial features," said Roger Hochschild, president and CEO of Discover.
Many in the neighborhood feared nothing would ever fill the void when the closure of the old Target was announced in 2018.
"I'm not going to mention the name, but yeah, the person that who shall be renamed nameless left his site, and there was a lot of despair," said Alderman Roderick Sawyer, 6th Ward.
"It's such a big space, so we didn't know what was going to come and whenever it was going to come, said Takyra Hazelwood, salon owner.
Business owners hope the customer care center will help increase foot traffic at their nearby shops and restaurants.
"When people see businesses that they haven't seen before, it makes a difference in our bottom lines because it makes them want to spend and shop, and that's our goal," said Shawndell Brown, shop owner.
The over 100,000-square-foot customer care center is located within a short distance of the 87th Street Red Line stop, Metra's 87th Street station and major bus routes.
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Space adjacent to the customer care center will be available for use by community-based organizations, as well, the company said.
"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.
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Discover is working with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot's office, city aldermen and neighborhood leaders on plans for the center. Opening the new site supports Lightfoot's INVEST South/West community improvement initiative.
"In order for us to truly put this terrible pandemic in the rearview mirror and ensure our recovery is as inclusive, equitable and prospers as possible, we must seize this moment as an opportunity to foster inclusive economic growth across our entire city," Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.
The center will be led by Juatise Gathings, who grew up in Roseland and has worked in three of Discover's customer care centers during her nearly 10 years with the company.
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The center takes the place of a former big box retail facility - Target.
Discover will soon be posting nearly 20 leadership job opportunities, followed by customer service agent job opportunities in April, with plans to hire a first class of 15 agents, who will 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.
Discover said it hopes to hire and train additional classes of 15 agents every three weeks and employ more than 150 agents this year with the eventual goal of filling nearly 1,000 positions over the next four years.
Individuals and organizations wanting to learn more about Discover and job opportunities for their new Chatham facility can visit www.discover.com/shinebright.