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Mayor Emanuel today joined Brandon Cruz and Clint Jones, co-founders of GoHealth, to announce that the company will round out the year by adding more than 650 new employees in their Chicago offices by the end of 2013, easily exceeding its projection of 250 employees made with Mayor Emanuel earlier this year. GoHealth is at the tail end of a banner year in which it added hundreds of employees and expanded to four new offices around the downtown Chicago area.
“The technology economy is thriving, particularly in the health IT space, and this is due in no small part to the success of companies like GoHealth. The company is uniquely positioned as a leader of a fluid, changing market and is well-poised to continue its success in the city,” said Mayor Emanuel. “GoHealth is creating the jobs of tomorrow and I am pleased that they are finding and training Chicagoans to fill those positions and shape the economic future of this important industry.”
GoHealth recently took 90,000 square feet of additional space in the Merchandise Mart, expanding the company’s footprint in Chicago to four total offices in River North, downtown, and the West Loop. Employees began working in the new space in October 2013. The new facility will house all types of employees including technology staff, sales representatives, analytics and training personnel.
GoHealth has been operating as a health insurance marketplace for over a decade with a variety of focuses in the health care space, including work with governments, health insurance carriers, and the general public. The company is hiring individuals across the spectrum of its employment needs, with a particular focus on employees with strong technical training. Sales agents hired by GoHealth complete an extensive training, licensing, and appointment process to ensure that customers receive assistance from knowledgeable and trustworthy sales staff when shopping for health insurance. Right now, consumers using the GoHealth Marketplace are supported by more than 700 licensed insurance agents and hundreds of support staff reachable through phone, email and online chat.
“People who need health insurance can use GoHealth right now to get their subsidy and tax credit estimation, see their subsidy applied directly to 2014 health plan premiums, and get a personalized plan recommendation from a licensed insurance advisor,” said GoHealth President Brandon Cruz. “We have a growing number of customers who have estimated their subsidy, reviewed their plan options, chosen a plan and agreed to enroll. That's why GoHealth staffed up and added hundreds of jobs in Chicago; specifically for the first ever open enrollment under the new health care law.”
GoHealth has committed to hire at least 200 employees through Skills for Chicagoland's Future (SCF), an organization that works directly with employers to find jobs for unemployed Chicagoans. To date, the company has hired 125 unemployed Chicagoans through the Skills program. Mayor Emanuel is a strong proponent of SCF and GoHealth is one of the companies that has hired the most people through this effort, which seeks to aggressively lower unemployment in Chicagoland.
“We’re proud to work with an initiative like Skills for Chicagoland’s Future that promotes future economic growth for our great city,” said GoHealth CEO Clint Jones. “We have tremendous opportunity ahead of us and we are looking to our local community of talent to help us continue expanding.”
SCF is a signature initiative of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel that partners with local employers to identify their available hiring needs and matches them with qualified unemployed job seekers in the Chicago metro area. This includes accessing and coordinating government funding for train-to-hire initiatives, such as the GoHealth program, so candidates have the skills necessary to deliver results from their first day on the job. Since SCF was launched in September 2012, it has generated 750 hiring commitments and more than 500 placements, including 140 unemployed job seekers who have participated in train-to-hire programs similar to the GoHealth program. SCF's provides recruitment, placement and training services at no cost to the job seeker.
"GoHealth has been a tremendous partner of Skills for Chicagoland's Future, quickly putting 125 unemployed job seekers on the path to new careers as licensed insurance advisors and sales center representatives," stated Marie Trzupek Lynch, president & CEO of Skills for Chicagoland’s Future. "With a commitment to hire 200 unemployed job seekers, we are thrilled to continue to support GoHealth's business and workforce growth by helping them connect with unemployed Chicago-area residents for these opportunities."
SCF and GoHealth began working together in May 2013. GoHealth has hired 78 licensed insurance advisors (earning over $16/hour) and 47 sales center representatives (earning $12/hour) through Skills for Chicagoland’s Future. The insurance advisors obtain training for the Illinois health and life insurance exam. GoHealth and SCF cover the cost for the exam ($300).
GoHealth has 907 employees currently, having added over 650 employees in 2013. Since the company’s founding as Norvax, Inc. in 2001, GoHealth has evolved from an agency technology solution to an outsourced carrier customer enrollment platform, and added a consumer-facing website at www.GoHealthInsurance.com. The company works with over 300 health insurance carriers and more than 20,000 licensed agents across the United States.
Mayor Emanuel joined GoHealth in February 2013 to announce that the company planned to hire an additional 250 employees, a goal that it easily met and surpassed.
"GoHealth joins a steady stream of healthcare and technology companies locating and expanding in Chicago to tap into the city's unmatched talent," said World Business Chicago President & CEO Jeff Malehorn. "We congratulate GoHealth on its tremendous growth and look forward to continuing to work together as we implement Chicago's Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs strategies to foster innovation and extend the city's demand-driven workforce."
GoHealth received a $50 million minority equity investment, announced in June 2012, from Norwest Equity Partners (NEP), based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.