The Lincoln-based Nelnet Inc. plans to open an Omaha call center for student loan operations, adding up to 250 service jobs.

The 25,000-square-foot office space at Westwood Plaza, 2840 S. 123rd Court, is to be ready in early fall.

“We are excited to expand our core student loan operations to Omaha,” said Joe Popevis, executive director of Nelnet operations. “We’ve grown significantly in Lincoln in recent years, and Omaha gives us another great Nebraska community from which to hire talented, hard-working associates.”

Popevis said he looks forward to growth in both cities. He is to discuss the company expansion at an event today that is to include Mayor Jean Stothert and David Brown, president and CEO of the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce.

Since 2009, Nelnet has added more than 700 jobs in Lincoln, bringing its workforce there to more than 1,450 people.

Much of the job growth supports Nelnet’s increasing volume of student loan services. The company owns student loans and processes payments, servicing $112.8 billion in student loans for 6 million borrowers as of April 2013. That’s up from $82.1 billion in loans and 5 million borrowers the year before, said spokesman Ben Kiser.

The company’s profit in the first quarter of this year jumped 58 percent, after taking charge of more loans under a federal Department of Education contract that is set to continue through August at higher volumes than in years past.

Nelnet will have a five-year lease at Westwood Plaza and plans to make technology and security improvements. Hiring begins in the next few weeks for the first 25 associates, who will start work this fall. The 250-seat center is to be filled by the end of 2014, Kiser said.

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