Intuit Bluefield

This file photo shows the Commerce Street Intuit facility in downtown Bluefield, recently. 

BLUEFIELD — Intuit on Monday officially launched its Prosperity Hub Program, with Bluefield one of five communities in the Appalachian region participating.

A Prosperity Hub in Bluefield, which was announced in March and will include a customer success center and innovation lab, will be located on Federal Street eventually bringing with it up to 500 jobs.

“Intuit will bring full-time jobs, vocational training to expand community members’ expertise, and resources for education supporting youth, adults and small businesses to accelerate prosperity throughout the community,” the company said. “The communities are chosen based on data across three primary areas: business success factors (where talent exists), community relations factors (community support for economic development) and where it can make a significant difference (where job creation will spur sustainable growth).”

“Prosperity Hubs is an inspiring example of how together, we can all prosper,” said Sasan Goodarzi, CEO of Intuit. “We’ve learned that one of the most powerful ways to help people prosper is by connecting them with experts on our platform. Creating jobs in local communities, combined with training to develop experts, enables us to better serve the communities and customers around us.”

Founded in 1983, Intuit produces TurboTax, a consumer tax preparation application, the accounting program QuickBooks, Mint, professional tax solutions ProConnect Tax Online, ProSeries and Lacerte, and multiple payroll products.

After the March announcement, work began on setting up a temporary headquarters on Commerce Street for the customer success center until the Summit Bank Building on Federal Street is renovated for the Prosperity Hub.

Alorica, a customer experience international company that specializes in personnel, partnered with Intuit to manage the centers and provide training.

John Miller, who is with Alorica and the director of the customer success center now operating in the former AAA building on Commerce Street, said recently about 100 employees will be trained and working at the center by the end of the year to help online customers with Mint and QuickBooks.

The innovation lab part of the Prosperity Hub goes beyond that and is designed to spark economic prosperity in regional communities as well as provide remote job opportunities for communities of people in need.

The program has already created 1,500 new jobs in the five communities – Wise, Va., Johnstown, Pa., Morristown, Tenn. Bluefield, and Hazard, Ken. – and will fund about 1,500 additional full-time jobs by 2021, the company said.

Intuit said the Prosperity Hub program is a “socially responsible sourcing model that both improves business outcomes for Intuit while providing new career development opportunities within communities in need,” adding that one out of every six Americans lives in distressed or underrepresented communities, and climate and socioeconomic factors are only “exasperating their conditions.”

In its pilot cities of Wise and Johnstown, Intuit’s investment of $60 million has contributed to more than 1,150 annual jobs created, over $32 million of annual wages and benefits earned, and almost $50 million of new business activity per year within these cities and their surrounding counties.

In Wise, Intuit said it has invested about $43 million in job creation since 2016, which has spurred economic prosperity and fueled the small business ecosystem. The unemployment rate went down from 9.4 percent to 5.2 percent, based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics unemployment rates from August 2016 to June 2019.

In Johnstown, Intuit has created 319 annual jobs through its employer-partners, prompting $17.5 million of business activity in the surrounding county. Intuit has already begun adding resources beyond job creation to Johnstown, including tax time programs that give residents access to in-person and online tax assistance.

Intuit said its global financial platform - and its products TurboTax, QuickBooks, and Mint - help consumers, self-employed and small business owners manage their financial life, and the Prosperity Hub program is part of a new initiative “accelerating the company’s commitment to making a positive impact on the world through its products and people.”

— Contact Charles Boothe at cboothe@bdtonline.com

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