story by Michael Tilley
Several sources have told The City Wire that as many as 60 people have been laid off at Golden Living’s administrative center in Fort Smith, with the company acknowledging only that employment has been “appropriately aligned” at the facility.
The number of people laid off ranges between 40 and 60 according to information from the sources. But even with the layoffs, employment at Golden Living’s (formerly Beverly Enterprises) administrative center has grown by more than 36% between May 2013 and March 2011.
Kelli Luneborg, public relations director for Plano, Texas-based Golden Living, said employment changes were made in Fort Smith.
“Our company and our industry are facing multiple challenges in today’s healthcare system — from new government policies to changing customer needs and expectations,” Luneborg noted in a statement. “In March 2011, the Golden Living family of companies began implementing a transformational plan to enable us to grow and be successful in this changing healthcare environment. We have made a number of alignment changes in our field operations and as such, we have appropriately aligned our Administrative Center to support this transformation.”
Luneborg said employment at the Fort Smith admin center has grown from 675 in March 2011 to 923 people as of May 20.
Golden Living subsidiaries include Golden LivingCenters (nursing homes), Aegis Therapies, AseraCare, and 360 Healthcare Staffing. There are more than 300 Golden LivingCenters in 21 states.
The company announced in March 2011 that it planned to add at least 200 jobs at the Fort Smith admin center as part of a consolidation plan. The jobs will consolidate most of the company’s billing for its various subsidiaries in the 5-story, 318,000-square-foot Fort Smith building. At the time, Golden Living President and CEO Neil Kurtz said the jobs will come from company offices in Atlanta, Birmingham, Ala., Milwaukee, Pittsburgh and Richmond, Va.
A more than $1.5 million incentive package from the Arkansas Governor’s office and the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and a smaller incentive from the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce helped secure the jobs.
Golden Living also announced in March 2011 that it would move its headquarter operations and executive management teams to Dallas (Plano).
The Fort Smith building, completed in the late 1990s as the new corporate headquarters for Beverly Enterprises, sits on a 60-acre campus. Beverly Enterprises moved in May 1990 its corporate headquarters from Pasadena, Calif., to Fort Smith. The first building Beverly occupied in Fort Smith was part of the strip mall in the rear of Central Mall.
In 2005-2006, Fillmore Capital purchased Beverly as a friendly bidder in what began as a hostile takeover play by Alpharetta, Ga.-based Formation Capital. The deal was valued at $2.2 billion, with about $1.8 billion going to shareholders.
On July 1, 2009, the company announced it had sold all of its nursing homes in Arkansas.