No Blues Here: Levi Plans to Add Jobs at Financial Center

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Byline: SHERRI BURI McDONALD The Register-Guard

CORRECTION (ran 9/18/02): Levi Strauss & Co. is holding job fairs at the Valley River Inn in Eugene from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sept. 25 and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 26. An article in the Business section of The Register-Guard on Tuesday listed incorrect dates.

San Francisco-based Levi Strauss & Co. shut six U.S. factories and laid off about 3,300 workers this spring, but the clothing maker's shared financial service center in north Eugene keeps on growing.

The 2 1/2 -year-old center handles general accounting, payroll, accounts receivable and other financial functions for the company. Now, it's taking on new duties. Levi is adding a business group of 45 workers to take and process orders from retailers throughout the United States, such as Fred Meyer, J.C. Penney, Macy's and Sears.

The work was previously done by employees handling other duties throughout the company, said David Clancy, Levi's human resources manager, based in San Francisco.

Ten people have already been hired and are in training in Eugene. The company is still trying to fill 35 openings for regular full-time workers.

The move will better serve retailers, Clancy said.

"We're hoping to get better efficiencies and more consistent training," he said.

The expansion, which will push the head count in Eugene to about 185 employees by November, underscores the importance of the Eugene center to Levi's overall operation.

"We've put more and more finance functions ... in Eugene," Clancy said. "It's one of our most important facilities, other than our headquarters, in the United States. …