With more than 2,000 employees already flocking to its New Tampa campus every day, the United Services Automobile Association, better known as USAA, is already a major economic player in the region.
A planned expansion over the next five years may shift new jobs south to Brandon, but the insurance company that grossed nearly $21 billion in revenue in 2012 won’t be abandoning its northern campus just off Bruce B. Downs Boulevard anytime soon.
Before settling on Brandon to bring in another 1,100 people, USAA had already been looking for new campuses nationwide, according to Robert Hoyland, USAA’s vice president and general manager in Tampa, during a recent breakfast meeting with the Greater Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce. It was not only land and facility costs that kept USAA in the Tampa Bay region, but Brandon has one asset the insurance company was most interested: veterans.
“You might ask, ‘You’re up here and (have) been successful, why are you going all the way down here?’” Hoyland said. “If you ever go to Brandon, you’ll find that a large concentration of active duties and veterans live there. By putting this building there, it helps us with one of our targets as a company — that 20 percent of the work force we hire is either veterans or spouses of veterans.”
The move also gives USAA a chance to pull in more employees from the Pinellas County area, something they enjoyed in their original South Tampa location when the company first came to the area, but lost when it opened its 500,000-square-foot facility in New Tampa more than a decade ago.
“This will still be our main office,” Hoyland assured those attending the breakfast. “We still like the employees we get from the main area, and we get a lot from Pasco County. They come as far away as Brooksville to come to our facility.”
USAA was founded in 1922 after a group of U.S. Army veterans struggled to get affordable car insurance because existing companies at the time thought they were too risky to ensure.
The company now boasts more than 10 million members, all of who are, or are associated with, military service members.
In recent years, USAA has begun to expand its offerings into mortgages, wealth management and investments. In fact, many of its new positions — including 500 in two temporary locations in Tampa — focus primarily on those fields, Hoyland said. The new facility in Brandon, not far from where Amazon is planning a distribution facility, will eventually hold 1,100. It will also add up to 5,000 other people nationwide, growing the existing employee base of more than 26,000.