Discover Hosts Grand Opening of Chatham Customer Service Center and Shine Bright® Community Center
RIVERWOODS, Illinois–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Discover today hosted the grand opening of its Chatham and Shine Bright Customer Service Center® Chicago South Side Community Center. Joined by Mayor Lori Lightfoot, 6e Ward Alderman Roderick Sawyer, and other elected officials and community leaders, Discover cut the ribbon for its new facility which includes a free Community Center for Community Organizations (CBOs) and other local entities, as well as a technology hub that gives current and potential employees working at the Center access to a technology career path.
Located at 86e Street and Cottage Grove, Discover has announced plans to open its Customer Service Center in March 2021 and opened a temporary space within the center in just three months. The temporary space has employed over 300 people over the past year. With the grand opening of its permanent space, Discover expects to employ more than 1,000 people by 2024, with most living within a five-mile radius of the Center and living in the Invest South/West communities.
“In the first year of operation, our Chatham Customer Service Center has exceeded customer satisfaction targets and is operating at a peak level,” said Roger Hochschild, CEO and President of Discover. “The success of our center and this grand opening celebration would not be possible without the contributions of our employees and the help of South Side community leaders and organizations who welcomed us to Chatham and connected us with a vast talent pool of candidates, suppliers and contractors. I hope our commitment to Chatham and the Southside can serve as a springboard for economic and equitable development in this vibrant community.
Discover’s employee retention rate at the Chatham Center exceeds all of its customer service centers across the country. To build and maintain the site, Discover allocated 47% of its business to minority-owned vendors and 28% to female-owned vendors, which far exceeds the requirements of the City of Chicago. A quarter (25%) of Discover’s construction spending went to local Black-owned contractors, totaling nearly $4 million.
For Discover, being a good neighbor was just as important as being a good employer. Hearing from CBOs and local residents about the lack of space to hold meetings and events, Discover worked with them to design the nearly 13,000 square foot Shine Bright Community Center, a versatile, multi-room and multigenerational that will be used for meetings and events for Discover and CBOs, schools, business and professional associations and other entities. The community space will also feature rotating artwork by local South Side artists.
Discover has also opened a technology hub at its Chatham facility. While most of the positions hosted at the Center are for customer service representatives with a starting hourly wage of $18 per hour, one of Discover’s goals is to expose the Center’s growing talent pool. for IT jobs. The technology hub will train current and potential local talent for jobs in enterprise technology. The first two cohorts of employees have already started and Discover is looking to hire more experienced IT talent over the next few months.
From the early planning stages of the Chatham Customer Service Center, Discover worked with the office of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. The Center supports Lightfoot’s INVEST South/West community improvement initiative and provides employment opportunities and economic development beyond Chatham for residents of INVEST South/West neighborhoods including Greater Roseland, Auburn Gresham, South Shore and South Chicago. Learn about plans to provide additional customer service jobs that will report to the Chatham Center and affect other INVEST South/West neighborhoods over the next two years.
“Today, I’m proud to see Discover’s vision for business investment on the South Side come to fruition once again,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “It takes bold leadership and visionary teams to increase equity so all of our neighborhoods can thrive, and I am grateful for their partnership and support. The new Discover Center will employ hundreds of talented people living in INVEST South/West communities and provide economic opportunities that will have a positive ripple effect on their neighborhoods and our city’s broader economy.
Discover also worked with 6e Ward Alderman Roderick Sawyer, who helped connect Discover with local entrepreneurs MWBE and Black as well as 8e ward Alderwoman Michelle Harris who introduced Discover to key community leaders early in the process.
“What Discover has done can and should serve as a model for businesses across the country,” said 6e Ald district. Roderick T. Sawyer. “I am proud that together we have worked to make the Chatham Center a reality, in particular by partnering to employ minority contractors on the project. The legacy of this project will benefit residents now and for years to come.
Prioritizing the hiring of local talent and minority-owned businesses has been key to Discover’s success, both in building the facility and in its employee retention rate.
“Discover delivers on its promise to the Chatham community,” said 8th Ward Ald. Michael Harris. “The management team has been fantastic and has collaborated with us every step of the way. The opportunities we create for residents, small businesses and nonprofits will only strengthen the fabric of our neighborhood.”
Based in Riverwoods, Discover has called the Chicago area home for more than 30 years and employs more than 17,000 people, including nearly 5,000 in the city and suburbs. They also have a satellite office located downtown. Discover has consistently been rated one of the best places to work by the Chicago Tribune. The Chatham Customer Service Center not only underscores Discover’s commitment to creating jobs in fundamental communities, but also demonstrates its commitment to providing jobs in the United States. Chatham customer service jobs are part of Discover’s award-winning 100% American customer service offerings across the country 24/7.
All full-time employees receive Discover’s benefits package, which includes health insurance, a 401k plan, eligibility for a minimum of 20 days of paid time off, a focus on career development, and the ability to receive Free university education from the first day of employment. Earlier this year, Discover expanded its fully paid educational benefits program to the city of Chicago through a partnership with Chicago State University (CSU). Discover employees living in Chicago who enroll at CSU and current CSU students working full-time at Discover are eligible to participate. The partnership not only allows students to fund their education, but also provides professional development opportunities to help advance their careers.
Today’s grand opening kicks off a week-long celebration of events Discover hosts at the center, including receptions for local community organizations throughout the week and a back-to-school party at its parking lot on Saturday August 6 where volunteers will distribute over 3,000 backpacks filled with school supplies.
Individuals and organizations interested in learning more about Discover and employment opportunities for their Chatham Customer Service Center can visit www.discover.com/shinebright.
For organizations wishing to learn more and request the use of the Shine Bright Community Center for meetings and events, please visit here.
Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) is a digital banking and payments company with one of the most recognized brands in financial services in the United States. Since its inception in 1986, the company has become one of the largest card issuers in the United States. The company issues the Discover® card, America’s cash rewards pioneer, and offers private student loans, personal loans, home loans, checking and savings accounts and certificates of deposit through its banking business. . It operates the Discover Global Network® consisting of Discover Network, with millions of merchants and cash access points; PULSE®, one of the nation’s leading ATM/debit networks; and Diners Club International®, a global payment network accepted worldwide. For more information, visit https://www.discover.com/company.