H&A Client UnitedHealth Group announces multimillion-dollar investment in City of Roanoke

Governor McDonnell Announces 125 New Jobs in City of Roanoke
– UnitedHealthcare Planning Multimillion-dollar Virginia Expansion –

RICHMOND – Governor Bob McDonnell announced that UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, is making a multimillion-dollar investment to expand its operations in the City of Roanoke.  UnitedHealthcare’s expansion is expected to create 125 new jobs over the next two years.

Speaking about today’s announcement, Governor McDonnell said, “We are pleased UnitedHealthcare is expanding its operations in Roanoke. Adding more than 100 jobs during a tough economic time is excellent news for the City of Roanoke and all Virginians. Healthy collaboration and the strength of our work force in the region has made this expansion possible.”

In addition to adding jobs, UnitedHealthcare is expanding and upgrading its leased office space in Roanoke. Improvements, including a complete remodeling of employee work spaces, will begin early this spring and continue into the fall.

Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Jim Cheng said, “Keeping UnitedHealthcare thriving in Roanoke by gaining this expansion was a priority.  Not only does the region gain up to an additional 125 jobs, it also retains several hundred employees already working for the company in Roanoke. This project is a win for both the City of Roanoke and the Commonwealth.”

UnitedHealthcare’s Roanoke employees support the customer care and sales functions of the insurer’s Medicare & Retirement business, which serves one-in-five of the nation’s Medicare beneficiaries.

UnitedHealthcare provides a full spectrum of consumer-oriented health benefit plans and services to individuals, public sector employers and businesses of all sizes, including more than half of the Fortune 100 companies. The company organizes access to quality, affordable health care services on behalf of approximately 25 million individual consumers, contracting directly with more than 650,000 physicians and care professionals and 5,000 hospitals to offer them broad, convenient access to services nationwide.

UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement CEO Tom Paul said, “UnitedHealthcare’s expansion in Roanoke reflects the Commonwealth’s and the City’s commitment to fostering a positive economic environment for employers.  The decision to enhance our operations in Roanoke reaffirms the dedication of our existing Roanoke employees in strengthening our business and serving our customers over the past several years.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Roanoke and the Roanoke Regional Partnership to secure the expansion for Virginia. Through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program, the Virginia Department of Business Assistance (VDBA) will provide funding and services to support the company’s recruitment and training activities.

City of Roanoke Manager Chris Morrill said, “The retention and expansion of a true leader in the healthcare market is a great opportunity for the City of Roanoke.  The addition of up to 125 new jobs in this economy is a testament to the excellent management practices of UnitedHealthcare and to the City of Roanoke’s ongoing efforts of attracting a broad range of healthcare, insurance and life science companies.”

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President Obama’s “Better Building Initiative”

President Obama’s
“”Better Buildings Initiative””

The President’s Budget will propose to make American businesses more energy efficient through a series of new initiatives:

  • New tax incentives for building efficiency: The President is calling on Congress to redesign the current tax deduction for commercial building upgrades, transforming the current deduction to a credit that is more generous and that will encourage building owners and real estate investment trusts (REITs) to retrofit their properties. These changes could result in a ten-fold increase in commercial retrofit take up, leveraging job- creating investments.
  • More financing opportunities for commercial retrofits: The Small Business Administration is working to encourage existing lenders to take advantage of recently increased loan size limits to promote new energy efficiency retrofit loans for small businesses. The President’s Budget will also propose a new pilot program through the Department of Energy to guarantee loans for energy efficiency upgrades at hospitals, schools and other commercial buildings.
  • “”Race to Green”” for state and municipal governments that streamline regulations and attract private investment for retrofit projects: Propose new competitive grants to states and/or local governments that streamline standards, encouraging upgrades and attracting private sector investment.
  • The Better Buildings Challenge: Challenging CEOs and University Presidents to make their organizations leaders in saving energy, which will save them money and improve productivity. Partners will commit to a series of actions to make their facilities more efficient. They will in turn become eligible for benefits including public recognition, technical assistance, and best-practices sharing through a network of peers.
  • Training the next generation of commercial building technology workers: Using existing authorities, the Administration is currently working to implement a number of reforms, including improving transparency around energy efficiency performance, launching a Building Construction Technology Extension Partnership modeled on the successful Manufacturing Extension Partnership at Commerce, and providing more workforce training in areas such as energy auditing and building operations.