News : Sarnia in Running for Call Centre Jobs
June 7, 2012 -- Sarnia could land several hundred new call centre jobs if the community can show it has a large enough pool of qualified workers.
"We have someone interested and it’s going to come down to doing a job far and getting the people," said George Malley, general manager of the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership.
It’s expecting to organize the job fair for some point in the future. When that happens, Malley said, "We’ll need people to show up because we’ll need a couple thousand resumes."
Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley said Sarnia-Lambton is in competition with other communities for the centre a Canadian company is looking to establish.
"We have the location, the former NCO site at the research park," Bradley said.
Proving the community has the labour pool the company is looking for will be key, he said.
Sarnia-Lambton does have many people with call centre experience, Mallay said.
"At one point in time, NCO was up to 1,500 people, we had 400 people at Startek."
Startek closed its call centre in Sarnia some time ago and NCO is winding down in space it leased at the Sarnia-Lambton Campus of the University of Western Ontario Research Park.
Mallay said former Hiawatha Slots workers with customer-oriented experience could also be candidates.
Bradley, who chairs the economic partnership, said call centres were a growing industry when Sarnia-Lambton began pursuing the business in the 1990s.
The industry later began moving off-shore but now the trend appears to be reversing, he said.
"There’s a number of companies that did go off shore, that are now coming back to Canada."
Bradley said the company currently looking at Sarnia-Lambton is a Canadian company that is "very committed to Canada."
He added the company deals with "blue ribbon clients" and would be a good fit for the community.
"A community needs a lot of different eggs in the basket," Bradley said.
"We’ve got some success stories coming on biofuels, we have Nova moving forward and some other projects on the way."
But, Bradley said, the partnership would also like to replicate the past success it had attracting call centre jobs that fill a role by providing full and part-time jobs in the community.
"It’s also very important for the research park because NCO is a very significant tenant and their loss is having an impact on us," he said. "They were paying $1.2 million in rent."
The collecting of contact information of potential call centre workers, is a partnership of Sarnia-Lambton MPP Bob Bailey and Lambton College.
"There’s a whole bunch of partners who are going to be there to help folks who have lost their job," said Geoff Greening, market development consultant with the economic partnership.
"There are seminars being run throughout the day," Greening said. "So, it’s a really good event for folks who are looking for work."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Contact Center World. (www.ContactCenterWorld.com), The Global Association for Contact Center Best Practices & Networking
Published: Friday, June 08, 2012
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