Employees of Blue Shield who are worried that their jobs may eventually be moved to Redding can rest easy, says Patrice Smith, director of corporate communications for the health care company that maintains a center on West East Avenue in Chico.
Smith said in recent months IT customer service and financial services departments were “transitioned” to Redding, affecting 140 jobs but laying off no one. Some quit, others moved and for a while Blue Shield offered a shuttle from Chico to the Redding office. Blue Shield has been in Chico since 1981, and its operations here include mail services, data entry and ITS host claims.
There are now 411 jobs in Redding and 350 in Chico. Smith said the goal was “to keep it so there’s a balance and there’s room to accommodate growth” in both offices. No more moves are planned in the near future.
Because Blue Shield owns the Redding center it opened last fall, and the Chico offices are only leased, some employees were concerned that they could be phased out.
“There is no indication of anything like that,” Smith said.
Put on your walking shoes
Ah, parking. A word sure to spark controversy.
This year, one of Chico State University Professor Mark Stemen’s environmentally minded classes has made it its project to get two related measures on the Associated Students ballot of April 8-9.
The measures would only be advisory, letting university administration know what students think about limiting who can get permits to park on campus.
In the interest of reducing air pollution, the first measure asks the A.S. to encourage the university to sell general (“G” lot) parking permits only to students who live more than a mile from campus—essentially beyond 10th Street and 10th Avenue. The exceptions would be “handicapped, disabled and pregnant students.”
The second measure asks the A.S. to encourage the city to increase bus service near campus and expand bike lanes.
The A.S. Governmental Affairs Committee decided Feb. 23 it would be fine it that is on the ballot. The Board of Directors was set to consider the idea the following day, after our press time.
Wanna buy a winery?
If you’re in the market for a fun job, a dream business producing and distributing dessert wines, just such an opportunity is up for sale in Butte County.
I found the listing on www.bizben.com, kind of an inside-track for business owners looking to buy and sell. Interestingly, even though they’re advertising, they often don’t want the general public to know they’re selling. That’s what happened when I called the kind gentleman representing the sale of a boutique winery here for $415,000. The owners, who “want to retire and sail the world,” according to the ad, want to keep their identity on the down-low.
But if you’re serious, look it up and give them a call. They sell 6,000 cases a year. If wine isn’t your cup of tea, you can buy a gas and food mart close to Chico State University for a mere $550,000. The sellers say they’re taking in $28,000 per month with a 40-percent markup. Also up for grabs is an interior design firm in Paradise for $349,000, because the seller is moving out of state.