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 COLUMBIA, S.C., Oct. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- First Union Mortgage Corp. today said it would locate its National Mortgage Lending Center in Columbia, creating 130 new jobs with an annual payroll of $3 million.
 Fifty of the jobs will be added by year-end. The remainder will be created by July 1994.
 About 10 of the jobs will be management positions, 40 will be professional positions, and 80 will be administrative or clerical positions. The average salary will be $23,000.
 First Union Mortgage Corp. is a subsidiary of First Union Corp. (NYSE: FTU FTUpr), as is First Union National Bank of South Carolina.
 "We're excited about today's announcement. It's good news for First Union and it's good news for Columbia and South Carolina," said Sid Tate, chairman of First Union National Bank of South Carolina. "First Union is strongly committed to continued growth and expansion in this city and across the state."
 Gov. Carroll Campbell said the Midlands area "has scored another economic coup" with today's announcement.
 "The banking community continues to provide leadership in the development of downtown Columbia, and our state is strengthened greatly by the presence of First Union's national mortgage operations," Campbell said from Osaka, where he continues his overseas trade and development mission.
 "Everyone involved cooperated to make today's good news a reality, and as a result we are gaining 130 new jobs and adding to our economic base," the governor said.
 The center will occupy 30,000 square feet of space in the former South Carolina Federal Corp. building at the corner of Hampton and Bull streets, downtown. First Union National Bank of South Carolina acquired South Carolina Federal in January.
 First Union will relocate the center from its present location in Wilmington, N.C., and expand the center's staff to 130 employees from its current 50. The company expects to absorb the 50 Wilmington employees into other newly expanded mortgage operations, also in Wilmington.
 Several factors played a role in First Union's decision to expand and relocate the center. Among them: new mortgage business resulting from First Union's recent bank acquisitions in several southeastern states, a dramatic increase in home mortgage refinancing, and growth in general mortgage lending.
 Most of the new Columbia jobs will be telephone customer service positions. Employees will work, by phone, with First Union's 480,000 existing mortgage customers, explaining options for refinancing at lower interest rates and assisting with new mortgage applications.
 Tate thanked city, county and state officials, the South Carolina Department of Commerce, and the Central Carolina Economic Development Alliance for working closely with First Union during the past few months as the company scouted potential sites for the center.
 "First Union chose South Carolina after looking at several other sites in other states," Tate said. "South Carolina state officials and local officials from the Greater Columbia area demonstrated a unified, team-oriented approach that indicated a considerable amount of thought, planning and coordination. We greatly appreciated that."
 First Union's Columbia Area Executive, John Tatakis, said the Columbia area offered "a complete package -- an excellent workforce, a high quality of life, and an outstanding business environment in which to grow and expand further. All the elements for economic success are here."
 Columbia Mayor Bob Coble said today's "announcement by First Union's National Mortgage Lending Center in downtown Columbia continues the recent momentum towards reviving the Midlands economy, and once again underlines the fact that regional cooperation and hard work under the leadership of the Central Carolina Economic Development Alliance are paying dividends."
 Joel Smith, chairman of the alliance, said First Union's announcement "is a direct result of having the presence of a large corporation whose individual business units can be placed in markets such as Columbia."
 The new center will play a key role in the ongoing revitalization of downtown Columbia, Smith added.
 "The facility represents an excellent investment in the downtown area -- one that will provide solid employment opportunities for local residents," Smith said.
 First Union Mortgage Corp. maintains a mortgage servicing portfolio of $38 billion, ranking it among the nation's 10 largest mortgage servicing portfolios.
 First Union National Bank of South Carolina is based in Greenville, with assets of $3 billion and 65 branch offices statewide.
 -0- 10/6/93
 /CONTACT: (Media) Jeep Bryant of First Union, 800-669-5855/

CO: First Union Mortgage Corp.; First Union National Bank of
 South Carolina; First Union Corporation ST: South Carolina IN: FIN SU:

MM -- CH006 -- 9372 10/06/93 13:32 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 6, 1993

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