Update: Sallie Mae jobs

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Yesterday, Congressman Allen Boyd announced the U.S. Department of Education is looking into new work opportunities for hundreds of Sallie Mae employees.

If you remember, Allen Boyd rallied with hundreds of Sallie Mae employees last year telling them he will help protect their jobs

But that all came to a crashing halt when President Obama signed the national health care reform bill into law. A bill Boyd voted for.

The bill included the federal government taking over the student loan program.

A few weeks after the bill was signed, Sallie Mae officials announced it is closing its doors in Lynn Haven at the end of this year or the first quarter of next year. Leaving 700 employees looking for jobs.

Well, now Boyd says there could be work available. In a letter from Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Duncan points to several options including the default recovery service contract.

We're told workers in this program could receive, manage and track defaulted student loans and grant over payments to the federal student aid.

In a statement on these new developments, Boyd said, "It is my hope that Sallie Mae will pursue any and all options that would keep out friends and neighbors in Lynn Haven employed during these tough economic times. If national Sallie Mae will commit to putting any new work at the Lynn Haven facility, I will continue to advocate for them and the important work they do in Bay County to the Department of Education."

In response, Sallie Mae officials have released this statement:

"With the government now taking over one-third of our business and without any specific commitments or even a timetable for procurements of future work. We are left with the painful reality of these legislative changes and the difficult responsibility of proceeding with the orderly restructuring of our operations," Rick Castellano, Director of Public Affairs for Sallie Mae said.

We're told the first round of layoffs at the Lynn Haven call center could come as early as July. No word yet on how many employees will be the first to go.

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