Book rental firm to add 100 jobs

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National firm provides on-line place to rent college textbooks

By The Staff

    SHEPHERDSVILLE - Those who attended college a few years ago remember the routine each semester of going to the bookstore.

    You mill around looking for the proper textbooks and gasp at the high prices.

    At the end of the semester you attempt to sell your books back but find that you get only a small percentage of your cost back.

    Well, a company started in 2003 in Santa Clara, Calif., may have another option for current college students.

    Chegg, which began renting textbooks nationally in 2007, has recently moved its distribution facility to Bullitt County.

    The company is housed in the former site of Linen-n-Things in the Cedar Grove Business Park. The company will occupy the entire 611,000 square-foot facility.

    “Chegg has found a great home in Shepherdsville and we have a great partnership with UPS,” said Tina Couch, vice president for public relations for Chegg. “We’d love to be here a long time, helping to create lots of jobs and support the local economy.”

    The textbook rental company is already in operation as students recently returned for the spring term at colleges across the country.

    State tax incentives of over $2.1 million were awarded last week.

    The plan for the company is to have 109 new full-time jobs with as many as over 1,200 new temporary and seasonal jobs.

    Couch could not disclose salary ranges; however, Bob Fouts, director of the Bullitt County Economic Development Authority, said they were comparable with a good benefits package.

    Fouts said the opening of the distribution center was great news, especially with the soft economy.

    “The jobs are very important to the community,” said Fouts.

    With the availability of the old Linens-n-Things facility, Fouts said that was a key element in the selection. Also, the partnership with UPS was important.

    The addition of Chegg also shows that the county is still a viable place to locate a business.

    Couch said the rental textbook business on-line has exploded.

    Last year, the business for Chegg grew by 600 percent. She estimated that in over two years of business, students across the country had saved over $130 million.

    Plus, the company has a policy to plant a new tree for each textbook rented. That accounts for over two million trees.

    Founders Aayush Phumbhra and Osman Rashid believed there was a smarter, more cost effective solution to textbooks, said Couch.

    As Netflix changed the video business, she said Chegg could do the same for textbook rentals.

    Students simply go on-line to the Chegg.com website to rent books. There are certain periods of time that the books may be rented. The company deals with over 6,400 colleges and carries 2.4 million titles.