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American Family cuts 200 IT jobs, offers workers retraining for higher-skilled positions
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American Family cuts 200 IT jobs, offers workers retraining for higher-skilled positions

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American Family Insurance

American Family Insurance will be contracting out IT services, such as its computer help hotline, cutting about 200 of such positions at the company. 

American Family Insurance said Wednesday it plans to contract out its information technology support services, eliminating about 200 IT positions at the company.

The Madison-based insurance behemoth will have services such as its IT help hotline provided by Capgemini, a French consulting and outsourcing service, which has about half its workforce in India.

The current employees, almost all of whom work in the Madison area, are being offered the option to be retrained for different positions, such as computer engineering, American Family spokeswoman Erin Johansen said.

“We are a growing enterprise that’s transforming how we use technology to serve our customers, agency owners and employees. Investing in our employees’ skills is part of this transformation and foundational for their growth and that of our company,” said Peter Settel, enterprise chief technology officer.

The employees will also be offered severance packages, should they choose to leave American Family, or they could apply for other positions within the company or at Capgemini, Johansen said.

American Family raises minimum wage for all employees to $20 per hour

Employees will have about three weeks to choose whether they plan to leave or be retrained, Johansen said, but the positions won’t be cut for at least three months.

“We really tried to take a lot of care to provide people a lot of options,” Johansen said.

American Family began looking last summer for a company to handle its IT services and decided on Capgemini, a company American Family has worked with before, Johansen said.

“We want to make sure we manage our technology in a way that works for us and our customers,” Johansen said.

Because Capgemini has IT services employees in most time zones, it is suited to manage American Family’s 24-hour-a-day IT services for employees and customers, Johansen said.

Several other companies have been acquired by American Family in recent years, including The General, Main Street American and Homesite Group.

The contract for IT services comes after a year of attention-grabbing announcements, particularly American Family’s naming rights deal for the Milwaukee Brewers stadium. American Family announced early last year that it will be the naming-rights sponsor beginning in 2021 of what is now Miller Park, named for current sponsor Miller Brewing Co. The stadium will be renamed American Family Field on Jan. 1.

American Family also announced last month that it would increase its base pay for all employees to $20 per hour, upping the pay of close to 1,700 workers, including about 350 in Madison.

Say goodbye to Miller Park, hello to American Family Field

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