Benefitfocus tripling campus, plans to add 1,200 jobs

By Liz Segrist
lsegrist@scbiznews.com
Published Dec. 16, 2013

Benefitfocus Inc. plans to create 1,200 jobs and triple the size of its current Daniel Island campus, the state Commerce Department announced today.

The company, which provides cloud-based software for employee benefits, will break ground on its building project Tuesday, expanding the company’s 13-acre campus in Berkeley County to 40 acres.

Benefitfocus, which went public in September, plans to break ground Tuesday morning on a campus expansion that will triple the size of its current Daniel Island headquarters and enable the employee benefits software provider to create 1,200 jobs, the state Commerce Department announced today. (Photo/File)

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“While Charleston’s economy has enjoyed many years of steady growth in the tech industry, today’s announcement by Benefitfocus represents the single largest combination of capital investment and job creation in our history,” Charleston Mayor Joe Riley said in a statement.

Gov. Nikki Haley and Benefitfocus President and CEO Shawn Jenkins will attend Tuesday’s groundbreaking. The expansion will increase Benefitfocus’ headquarters to nearly 500,000 square feet. The Charleston-based company also has offices in Greenville, San Francisco and Tulsa, Okla.

The additional capacity will enable Benefitfocus to recruit an additional 1,200 employees, the company said, more than doubling its current 800 workers.

“While we work to recruit business investment from all industries to the state, we are putting special emphasis on growing our innovation infrastructure,” Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt said in a statement. “Companies like Benefitfocus, in announcing 1,200 new jobs, demonstrate how high-tech, high-growth businesses can be successful in our state.”

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved job development credits for the expansion project.

The expanded campus will include walking paths, cart paths and trails among the five buildings.

The next building on the campus will be a 145,000-square-foot building, dubbed the Customer Success Center. It will house customer service employees, as well as the training and certification programs for employees, customers and partners.

The new facility is expected to be complete and operational in the first quarter of 2015.

“We are creating a community within a community, and it’s exciting to see this expanded technology campus come to life. ... Our passion for design and engineering is such a powerful part of what makes Benefitfocus great, and we believe the new campus will add to the vitality of the region as we continue to attract world-class engineering talent,” Jenkins said in the statement.

Benefitfocus, founded in 2000 in Mount Pleasant, moved to Daniel Island in 2006. The company went public in September, closing on its initial public offering of roughly 4.9 million shares of Nasdaq common stock after netting $70.6 million in less than a week.

At the close of the stock market today, Benefitfocus was selling at $58.06 per share, up more than $20 from its IPO price of $37.32.

Reach Liz Segrist at 843-849-3119 or @lizsegrist on Twitter.

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