“The City of Chandler is thrilled to welcome this significant infusion of new jobs to our community from a worldwide leader in the healthcare industry,” Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke said in a news release. “As our city and region continue to work through the challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, we are especially proud to bring these new jobs to Chandler and the entire East Valley. We would like to congratulate CVS Health on this new facility and wish them many years of success ahead.”
The new space is located at 1255 S. Spectrum Blvd. in the Allred Park Place development in Chandler's Price Corridor—the city's top employment corridor.
"Between CVS Health and what we have going on with the new companies in Price Corridor, we are seeing a lot of positive momentum that we are fortunate to be experiencing," said Micah Miranda, the city's economic development director. "Health care is a major part of the Price Corridor, and so are the advanced business services that are associated with it. The business activities are there to support health and wellness."
CVS Health completed its acquisition of Aetna in November 2018, according to a news release. The new office in Chandler will provide services for the Aetna One Advocate care management program. The other offices that support Aetna One Advocate are in North Carolina and Ohio, with the Chandler office now responsible for a growing base of customers.
The project includes approximately $10 million in new tenant improvements to the building, which was originally built in 2009.
Miranda said the project has been in the works for multiple quarters, and while Chandler's economic development team has a steady pipeline of projects, the city has seen a bit of a slowdown when it comes to final decisions. Projects that would wrap up in one year to 18 months might now take 18 to 24 months, Miranda said, due to the economic impacts and economic uncertainty spurred by the coronavirus.
"CVS Health is a Fortune 10 company," Miranda said. "In the Price Corridor we continue to attract premier employers to the corridor. The Price Corridor is a very well-diversified employment corridor in the city, and that's something we are doing intentionally to diversify our city's economy."
The first class of approximately 130 employees has already been hired for this office and are currently working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the release. CVS Health is continuing to ramp up hiring in the months ahead with the next training class scheduled for Aug. 3.
CVS Health able to 'pivot' with the pandemic
Jason Clement, the vice president of Aetna Clinical Services, CVS Health, said the Chandler office's 130 employees have been working—and training—from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"At the moment, we don’t have any set firm date of when we will be back in the building," Clement told Community Impact Newspaper. "We are looking at where things land both locally and nationally before we put anyone back in the building and will work to make sure that it is safe and strategic."
But the company was well-situated to pivot to working from home, Clement said. Everyone has mobile work stations—laptops—that made the transition easier. When it comes to the new Chandler office, Clement said that because they were in final stages of securing everything pre-COVID-19, they were able to work to configure the office space in such a way that all work stations will be six feet apart when employees return.
"We were able to make last minute adjustments to where all of our seating has minimum of 6-foot distance, so we have an office space with a permanent 6-foot distance," Clement said. "We quickly made those changes so when we are back we will already have that distance."
Clement, an Arizona native, said he is excited that the new office is in Chandler.
"We're excited to be able to be in Chandler and excited to be part of the community as we continue to grow the CVS footprint in the community," Clement said. "What we have found through all our research is that Chandler is not only a great place to do business, but also a great place to have access to phenomenal talent. We're excited about that and looking forward to being a staple in the community."
Clement said the ability to hire for hundreds of positions over the next year or so is just one way the company is able to make an impact in the community.
"We've had to pivot in what I think is an unprecedented time, there have been so many impacted by the pandemic and we are able to ensure people have jobs and we are able to help people are directly impacted by the pandemic," Clement said. "It's a good role to have in really making a difference across the board."
To learn more about Aetna One Advantage careers, go to https://www.aetnacareers.com/aetna-one-advocate.