WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas in Wichita Falls is now 20 years old.
It's one of the city's largest employers, with nearly 350 employees.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield staff and city leaders gathered Thursday to celebrate the milestone.
"20 years," Lauri Kelley with Blue Cross and Blue Shield Community Affairs said. "We are really excited and we are hoping for another 20."
They also celebrated an expansion project for a new provider phone unit that will add 100 new jobs and grow the local economy.
"We're expanding because we need more people to just answer the calls and make sure that we're providing good customer service to our members," Kelley said.
"I thought they might hire internally," Wichita Falls Mayor, Stephen Santellana said. "But it looks like they're going to be pulling some people from out of state and out of Wichita Falls to fill these positions. So maybe I can get my town to grow a little bit more. That's exciting news to hear for me."
Some of the jobs being added will include call service representatives and a managerial staff to oversee them.
"A lot of people want to bring in companies, corporations, or manufacturing industries from the outside," Mayor Santellana said. "But sometimes you just have to look to what you have existing in Wichita Falls."
Mayor Santellana said he's thrilled that one of the city's largest employers is so committed to Wichita Falls.
"I like asking people where they work," he said. "And all the time I hear Blue Cross and Blue Shield. And then they follow it up with how good the organization is."
"By being in Wichita Falls and in other small areas of Texas, we are expanding to these rural areas that need more coverage," Kelley said.
"Somebody already has a really good footprint here," Mayor Santellana added. "Already has the management structure, and is part of a large organization. We're glad they're choosing Wichita Falls to have that expansion."
C.E.O. of the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce Henry Florsheim said the biggest challenge for the city right now is finding people for their open jobs.
They believe Blue Cross Blue Shield expanding shows how effective their Wichita Falls office is.
The hiring process has already begun for some of the manager and supervisor positions.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas will be posting job listings for the other positions throughout the year on their website.