With the announcement today that State Farm has acquired the naming rights to the building formerly known as the Assembly Hall, what Illini fans may not know is that State Farm already has a significant presence along First Street in Champaign.
The State Farm Research and Development Center, located in Research Park at 2001 S. First St., is a place where State Farm staff and University of Illinois students guide and support company programs with high-level research. SFRDC employs 28 full-time staff as well as more than 70 student interns per semester. Students work part-time during the school year and full-time during the summer, creating a year-round work environment.
The work at the Research Center primarily supports three State Farm departments: Property & Casualty Actuarial; Systems; and Strategic Resources. Students conduct research and projects including mobile application development, information systems, pricing and financial analysis, competitor analysis, and knowledge management.
More than 500 students have gone through the internship program since the Center opened in 2005; some are hired into the company upon graduation. The program continues to grow, as State Farm has expanded its building footprint four times, most recently in 2012.
Media coverage of the name change that mentions Research Park and/or the SFRDC:
The Daily Illini