From a SF employee:

By:  Diane Benjamin

Below are excerpts from an email I received yesterday from a current State Farm employee:

So…the story about State Farm. There are a lot of management level employees in our IT shop.  Percentages of people whose jobs will move or be eliminated range from about 20% to 50% depending on the area of responsibility.

People who have the talent and skills needed for future IT work don’t want to live in Bloomington-Normal.  Not because we don’t have bike lanes or fancy new hotels….but because the Midwest is cornfields and small towns. They want big city life.
The idea is to reduce the amount of layers in decision-making and to move decisions closer to the customer and away from the Bloomington bubble.
The email goes on to explain that local governments was told way back in the mid 90’s to diversify and recruit other businesses because State Farm may not always have a large presence here.
How did local governments react?  Parklets

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Comments

  1. My sister USED to work at a large St Louis concern and came BACK here for family, etc, reasons and applied at Normal at the time. They spent the day touring her around BLOOMINGTON and telling her how great the town of Normal is (not knowing she was from here). Also showing her State Farm. This was well over 10 years ago. Some things NEVER change.
    I needn’t say she didn’t take the job.

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  2. Lol, wait just a minute here, “They want big city life.” ??? Seriously? Those people that are some of the biggest cheapskates in the world want to live around higher cost of living, higher crime rates, higher taxes, traffic congestion so you spend more time getting back and forth to work, etc. ? Sorry, I’m not buying that one. Yes people do want more than B-N can offer, Perhaps freedom and liberty reign supreme as that is what motivated many Europeans and others around the world centuries ago to come to America in the first place. Over the course of time, the basic wants and needs of human beings really haven’t changed that much.

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  3. “The idea is to reduce the amount of layers in decision-making and to move decisions closer to the customer and away from the Bloomington bubble.” Move decisions closer to the customer? Lol! I think I’d move this SF employee info to the scrap heap. /// High taxes!
    People move away from high taxes as has been proven throughout the ages. The state of IL in in dire straits financially and the only way out, as per lifer Mike Madigan is raise taxes. More and more taxes, less and less basic needs to be fulfilled for the average citizen. A more dependent state, keeps those lousy (not your grandfathers) democratic party in power.

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    • Metro areas like Dallas, Atlanta, Phoenix are attractive because of tax incentives and access to a significantly larger talent pool, to employ SF’s newest venture —- call center employees. SF is moving the jobs….to where the people who can do those jobs….want to live and work.

      In addition, specific to IT, there are multiple layers of leadership. Several levels of supervisor, managers, directors and executives. Decisions take too long to make and too many people are at the table. “Flattening” that makes it easier and faster to make decisions and get new technology to market.

      And yes, taxes are out of control at the state and local levels.

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  4. Just a few months ago it was reported that several SF offices were closing over the next few years affecting at least 1,000 employees and their families. The local leaders were giddy thinking all those people would be moving back to Bloomington. Now, it is reported that instead of inflow of SF jobs, at least 400 additional families will be moving away.
    About three years ago, Council voted for the formation of B/N Advantage, one of several groups of regional entities charged with the task of business growth and economic development. Shortly there after, the group reported the need to diversify its tax base and types of businesses. The local leaders don’t want to listen to locals. They want get advice from the US Conference of Mayors and IMCA. The City is going to choke to death on the 300 pages of the Comprhensive Plan.

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  5. I’m on the older side of the millennial generation, and I can say that big city life is not great when you start having kids. In fact, millenials are starting to move to the suburbs now that they are having kids.

    That being said, bloomington suffers from a couple issues. First is that our leaders are obsessed with building things that only a limited audience will use. Normal at least has a great public open space to hold events. They also have the children’s museum which does not cover everyone, but it gets a lot of people (including grandparents). Bloomington has no public space and a bunch of bars for their downtown. Second is that bloomington is in Illinois. Why would any millennial stick around to pay for the hundreds of billions in unfunded pension liabilities that they did not get any say in creating?

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  6. concerned local says:

    If you’ve just decided to start paying attention to what is going on at State Farm you’re a few years behind, where have you been? The source for the latest information was about 20% right, you can figure out what part of it was correct. The sky is not falling people.

    Linking to the development in ATL is old news. They are starting a new tower in a development that was announced years ago? The architecture rendition is the same as it has always been.

    Put down the pitchforks.

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    • Renner has said for years they are keeping around 15000 employees. How many are there?

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    • Pitchforks?!? Perhaps if the information were readily available, we could take out the guesswork and end the discussion. Sounds like you too are not at the top of the food chain for information.

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      • Sonny Chiba says:

        Mudd–State Farm doesn’t owe you anything. What interest do you have in any story involving State Farm other than to soak your shirt in drool while you write your contempt for the company and its employees? I can excuse it as ignorance, but for you to take apparent pride and satisfaction in it; that is pretty sad. Chances are you never met a State Farm employee you liked so your interest in such a story as this probably borders around attending a NASCAR race or an air show and hoping you see a gnarly crash.

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      • Sonny–although it is true that SF does not owe the citizens of Bloomington anything, the City owes its taxpayers any information that SF has shared regarding the downsizing of its local presence.

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  7. Dan Shepard says:

    That is such crap. SF isn’t moving anyone or department based their preferences.

    Yet another delusional SF worker living in the past.

    Sent from My Phone

    >

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    • Yeah not really, Dan. Follow along: SF is moving the JOBS….to where the PEOPLE who can do those jobs…..LIVE and want to WORK.

      The point is, SF will tell you they can’t recruit top IT talent to B/N for a variety of reasons…..and Tari’s hotel and transportation center and bike lanes aren’t going to fix that.

      It’s not insight from a delusional worker living in the past. You’re gonna have to trust me on this one, Dan.

      Like

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