Going with the Flo

Billion-dollar insurance giant stakes big claim on Austin with 1,000 new jobs

Billion-dollar insurance giant stakes claim on Austin with 1,000 jobs

Millennials working in an office
Progressive wants to hire 1,000 more workers.  FS Productions/Getty Images

Effervescent and ever-present fictional spokeswoman Flo and her friends at insurance giant Progressive are staking a pretty big claim on Austin. On January 25, the insurance company said it was adding 1,000 jobs here this year, according to a press release.

As part of a plan to expand its U.S. workforce by more than 10,000 in 2019, the $30 billion insurance company said it’s bulking up its Austin team with hundreds more positions for customer service, sales, and claims representatives. In Austin, Progressive is especially on the lookout for bilingual Spanish sales and customer service representatives.

About 1,600 people already work at Progressive’s Austin site, just west of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. The office features an on-site gym, health clinic, and cafeteria, as well as several pieces from Progressive’s corporate art collection. Progressive set up its Austin operation in 1997.

Information about Austin job openings is available on Progressive’s website.

Tom Super, director of the property and casualty insurance practice at market research company J.D. Power, tells CultureMap that Progressive’s growth spurt over the past several years has spurred the workforce expansion.

“In order to continue expanding, it needs to focus on keeping its current and future customers happy,” Super says. “A big part of that process is scaling up its [customer] service ranks, and the announced hiring in Austin will be key to its plans.”

Of the six U.S. locations where Progressive is adding hundreds of employees this year, Austin is on track to gain the fourth most, behind Cleveland (2,000 jobs); Tampa (1,500); and Colorado Springs, Colorado (1,100).

“This is the largest hiring forecast in Progressive’s history,” Lori Niederst, the company’s chief HR officer, says in a release. “We are excited to add hardworking talent to our team who are interested in a career with Progressive. For decades, we’ve been developing people who started in jobs like these into successful business athletes who rise to our leadership ranks.”

In 2018, Progressive was named the Austin area’s top-ranked large employer in the Austin American-Statesman’s Top Workplaces for Greater Austin project. Another program, Great Places to Work, says 91 percent of workers at Progressive consider it to be a top employer.