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Michelle Howa works at her desk at new Conservice building in this 2016 file photo.

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Cache Valley’s largest private employer, Conservice, is in the process of transferring its entire 2,000-employee staff to home work stations as a coronavirus precaution measure.

Company founder and CEO David Jenkins said about 500 employees have been moved so far, and he has four teams working on the project around the clock.

“We started with all the highest-risk individuals and have worked from that down through the CDC guidelines,” Jenkins said.

The Herald Journal contacted Jenkins on Friday after receiving a complaint from a woman whose daughter works at one of the company’s four buildings in Logan.

“My daughter works as a utility processor for Conservice. It’s a great job and they treat her well,” the woman said, “but they continue to make her and most of their employees work in a large group … doing jobs they can do from home. It’s very irresponsible and as a company that is supposed to be progressive. It’s disheartening that they are putting ‘making a buck’ over the safety of our community.”

Jenkins said nothing could be further from the truth, and any employees who feel they are at risk will be kept out of the office and processed for work-from-home status immediately.

“As you know, up until a couple days ago there were no cases (of confirmed coronavirus) anywhere in the valley,” Jenkins said.

“We’ve taken every precaution we possibly can, and we are adding hundreds of people per day to the work-from-home process. It just takes a little time.”

He went on to say that the the critical mother might not realize the crisis-management measures taken by the company are helping ensure workers continue to get paid.

“We’re trying to do the best we can given our size and dependence,” he said. “We don’t want people to not have paychecks. That would just add to the problem that’s out there.”

Jenkins noted that transferring employees home is not as easy as picking up a computer and moving it. The utility-billing company works with proprietary systems that have to be set up on servers in multiple states around the country.

“We have to have high clearance levels on security, and so it takes a few days to roll out,” he said.

Conservice is Cache Valley’s third largest employer behind Utah State University and Logan Regional Hospital. The Herald Journal was unable to determine on Friday how many other large office workplaces are still keeping employees on hand.

Charlie McCollum is the managing editor of The Herald Journal. He can be reached at cmccollum@hjnews.com or 435-792-7220.

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