CHICAGO (CBS) — Discover Financial Services plans to bring about 1,000 new jobs to the Chatham neighborhood over the next four years, providing a big boost for the community.

The company will be bringing a 100,000-square-foot customer care center to 86th and Cottage Grove, the site of a Target store that closed in February 2019.

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The mayor’s office said the project supports her INVEST South/West imitative and will offer job opportunities and economic development to residents in Chatham, Roseland, Pullman, Auburn Gresham, South Shore, and South Chicago.

Lightfoot said the call center is cause for celebration, especially as the city continues efforts to recover from the pandemic.

“This, folks, is what inclusive equitable development looks like,” she said. “In order for us to truly put this terrible pandemic in the rearview mirror – and ensure our recovery is as inclusive, equitable, and prosperous as possible – we must seize this moment as an opportunity to foster inclusive economic growth across our entire city, and especially within communities that are struggling the most.”

The closing of the Target store in Chatham more than two years ago, along with the closing of another store in Morgan Park, prompted community protests. At the time, critics accused Target of abandoning largely Black neighborhoods on the South Side while opening new stores in mostly White communities on the North Side – including one that received $13 million in tax subsidies. Target had said the two stores being closed were not making a profit.

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The Target in Morgan Park has since been replaced, after Blue Cross Blue Shield opened a new office at 119th and Marshfield last year. Blue Cross has estimated that office will bring about 500 jobs to Morgan Park.

Discover plans to hire 100 call agents for the Chatham office this year, and a total of 1,000 over the next four years.

Most job openings at the new facility will be for customer care representatives, with a wage of more than $17 per hour. Full-time employees also will get Discover’s full benefits package – including health insurance and a 401k plan – and will be eligible for 20 days minimum paid time off per year.

Discover also will offer employees career development and the opportunity for free college education.

Discover will begin offering customer service agent job opportunities in April, and plans to hire the first group of employees to start in June. The first group of staff will work at a temporary space until the full facility opens at the end of the year.

While the company plans to have employees work in-person, it will offer remote work if needed.

You can find more about Discover job opportunities at visit www.discover.com/shinebright.

The site also will offer 500 secured parking spots, and is located just blocks from the 87th Street Metra station and about a mile from the 87th Street Red Line stop.

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CBS 2 Chicago Staff