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Lancaster County Economic Development is in negotiations to fill office space in Indian Land’s URS Building formerly occupied by Titanium Solutions.
Meanwhile, former Titanium Solutions employees, who maintain they were blindsided by the company’s sudden closing March 13, said company officials have since offered them larger severance packages, a move that averted a brewing lawsuit.
Titanium Solutions, a loss mitigation firm, shut down without prior notice to its approximately 110 employees March 13 after slightly more than four years in business at its HSBC Way headquarters in the Edgewater Business Park.
The company specialized in contacting and negotiating with delinquent borrowers in their homes on behalf of mortgage services companies, financial institutions and other clients.
In its only comment on the matter, the company said it was closing because of “declining volume and marketplace changes.”
LCEDC president Keith Tunnell said two companies have expressed interest in the space – one an existing tenant in the building, the second a mortgage company also considering office space at 521 Corporate Center’s Wellman building.
“The SOI Corporation, in the building already, is taking a majority of that space because they continue to grow,” Tunnell said. “We’re also talking to another existing company that could grow over 300 jobs. Right now they have about 50 employees, but they have a large growth swing.
“If that comes to fruition, those are $40,000 to $50,000 a year jobs in a stable industry,” he said. “If everything goes well, we could end up having a net gain in that space.”
Tunnell said he wasn’t at liberty to release the mortgage company’s name since negotiations were ongoing.
Negotiations should be completed between 30 and 45 days, he said.
Tunnell said efforts have been undertaken to help Titanium Solutions employees find new work.
The efforts include conversations with local companies that are hiring and upcoming SC Department of
Employment and Workforce information sessions dedicated to former Titanium Solutions employees.
The sessions are scheduled for Tuesday, April 9, at Lancaster City Hall.
In the latest news regarding the company, former employees said Titanium Solutions officials recently offered to significantly increase their two-week severance packages.
Former supervisor Kathy Younce of Indian Land said the action staved off employee plans to pursue a class action lawsuit against the company under the federal Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.
Passed in 1988, the WARN Act requires qualifying companies to provide 60 days due warning of a shutdown or pay 60-days severance pay.
“What finally happened is the company came back and gave us 60 days severance, but we’re still not getting our PTO (Paid Time Off),” Younce said. “I think most employees, maybe not all, but most, took it, so everybody’s pretty content with that.”
Younce said since the layoff, employees have stayed in touch through an e-mail network. She said most employees are looking for work, but so far, only one of the company’s 110 former employees has found a job.
“It’s discouraging, we all just ... I know myself included, I just want to be at work, bottom line,” Younce said. “I’ve had some good interviews and, hopefully, something will come of it.”
Former Titanium Solutions employee Nickie Evans of Lancaster said she feels the same, even though she was able to fall back on a second job she’s held for some time.
Evans said despite how it ended, working at Titanium solutions was a good job. She said she cried this week when she just finally got around to unpacking her box of personal work items.
After being comfortably employed at Titanium Solutions for so long, Evans said “it’s kind of scary out there” without a job.
Reacting to the news of new companies moving into Titanium Solutions’ offices, Evans said they would do themselves well to consider hiring her and her teammates to work for them.
“If these people take the time to look at our resumes and see the kind of work we did, they would be doing themselves a service. We were good,” Evans said. “We came from all different directions and backgrounds, but I tell you what, when you put us together, we worked like a well-oiled machine.”
u Contact reporter Reece Murphy at (803) 283-1151