IBM, Sallie Mae squeezing small firms in Muncie

January 21, 2008

Small businesses in the Muncie area are struggling to compete for employees against IBM and Sallie Mae now that the giants have opened locations in the region.

Sallie Mae has hired 70 workers since opening a call center in Muncie in late 2006, and an IBM customer service center in Daleville has hired about 200 workers in recent months.

Experts in the area say many small companies face the problem and that training workers for more specialized skills is the answer, according to The Star-Press of Muncie. However, meeting salaries of the larger firms is an obstacle.

The problem could get worse for the small businesses because both Sallie Mae and IBM have said they may expand further.

Brad Wagnon, who owns a 30-worker message service in Muncie called Communications Network, said he's countering the dwindling worker pool by tapping graduates of Ivy Tech, Indiana Business College and Ball State University.
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