On Wednesday, the leaders at Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection said that the company has currently hired 150 part-time and full-time employees in the past year. They intend to grow to roughly 2000 workers within the next five years, and most of them will be from central Wisconsin.
This company, previously known as the Noel Group, now has 230 Wisconsin and Florida residents in its employ. Founder, CEO, chairman and president of the company, John Noel, leader of the Noel Group, said the list of jobs will range from entry-level to six-figure positions.
He mentions that the bulk of the 2000 jobs will be in the Stevens Point area if enough apartments, parking and office space becomes available for employees.
Gov. Scott Walker, also on Wednesday, spent time in Stevens Point to take a tour of the operations and praise the growth of the company. This past January, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance, an offshoot of Warren Buffett’s holding company Berkshire Hathaway, purchased the assets of two key companies of the Noel Group, Insure America and MyAssist. The Noel Group changed its name to Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection this past May, and the company has ramped up its hiring since then.
“Joining Berkshire Hathaway has completely changed our perspective. We are focused on the United States, but really we are now a global company,” said Noel. “You have companies coming to us who have respect for the Berkshire Hathaway name and the services they provide, and we’re thrilled to be a part of that.”
The company is currently headquartered at 1145 Clark St., and it has a capacity to house about 145 employees. The company also intends to rent space in the county’s building at 1039 Ellis St. in order to provide office space for additional workers. They are also looking at more possibilities to expand Stevens Point operations as future employees join the company.
Originally from Malta, one of these employees is Natalino Xuereb, who spent over a year looking for a job since he moved to the United States. He’s heard nothing but great comments about Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection. They hired him on June 7 as a Stevens Point call center supervisor.
He said that the company has definitely lived up to its reputation, and he’s happy to be a part of what is shaping up to be a large hiring push that will take place over the next five years.
The 44-year-old Xuereb moved with his wife, Amy Kaehn, to the United States during April 2013. His wife grew up in the area. The couple decided to raise their two children – a daughter named Nevin, three years old, and a son named Quinlan, seven years old – in this great community. He began trying to find a job at the end of 2013 and struggled to find work in his previous field of banking.
Friends and family members told him that Berkshire Hathaway was going to hire through an open house that was held in June of that year. He originally planned to apply for an entry-level call center job, but he was asked about becoming a supervisor during his interview. He is currently receiving training for that very job.
“It’s a little out of my comfort son, but I’m thrilled to be working, and I’m receiving a lot of help to get me ready for the job,” said Xuereb.
Walker commended the group and its employees that gathered for a news conference about their commitment to grow this company in Wisconsin.
“You don’t have to go to New York or Chicago; you can build a company right here in these communities and take advantage of the local amenities and quality of life,” said Walker.