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News : StarTek Aims for Stable Growth in Hamilton

#contactcenterworld

Hamilton, OH, USA, March 25, 2019 -- It was Hamilton’s biggest jobs win in a decade when the call center company StarTek Inc. won state tax credits in 2015 to bring 682 jobs to a dormant Elder Beerman store on High Street.

Four years later, restaurant owner Les Rudisell is still waiting on the increased foot traffic expected from that deal.

"I wish it was 600 people up there," said Rudisell, owner of Alexander’s Market & Deli. "Probably be a little more business for me."

Rudisell said he gets 10 to 15 percent of his revenue from StarTek employees and the climate in downtown Hamilton is improving. But he can always use more customers to enhance what is now a break-even retail location.

StarTek is one of 23 companies that failed to comply with the terms of their agreements for Ohio Job Creation Tax Credits in 2017, according to a December report by Ohio’s Attorney General. StarTek voluntarily terminated its agreement in 2018 without receiving any of the $1.3 million in tax benefits it was eligible to claim under its 2015 agreement.

StarTek currently has about 200 employees in Hamilton, well short of its original goal.

"I would have loved to get there," said Mario Baddour, vice president of operations for Denver-based StarTek. "It’s been slower than what we expected, but we’re also pleased with the pace that we’re going at because we’re being very selective with the types of projects or engagements we want to be part of … We want to bring stable, long-term employment to that community."

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Tax credits are among the state’s most popular economic development tools, helping to finance 160 business-expansion projects in Butler, Clermont, Hamilton and Warren counties since 2008. In those 160 deals, companies promised to invest more than $2.2 billion to create 17,847 new jobs and retain 18,886 existing jobs. In exchange, state officials offered tax credits that would reduce their Ohio tax liability by up to $106.5 million.

The Ohio attorney general’s office evaluates compliance with those agreements every year in a process that allows state officials to revise or cancel any deal that doesn’t produce the intended result. In its most recent report , published in December, Ohio's attorney general found 71 companies in compliance out of 94 deals that listed 2017 as their "closeout year," meaning the year by which job-creation goals had to be completed. Ohio had a compliance rate of 75.5 percent in 2017, the second best performance in the last eight years.

StarTek was one of six local companies labeled non-compliant in the December report.

State officials allowed four of those deals to continue with no changes because the recipient "attained 90 percent or greater of the aggregate number of jobs it agreed to create or retain."

The state report shows StarTek exceeded a job-creation goal of 682 new jobs. But many of those positions were seasonal in nature, so they didn’t last a full year. That caused StarTek to fall far short of its goal for $15.7 million in new payroll. In the end, state records show StarTek created 864 new jobs by the end of 2017 with a combined new payroll of $7 million. That works out to an average of $8,096 per employee.

Because it’s a publicly traded company, StarTek is required to tell investors how its CEO pay compares to the median pay of all employees. StarTek’s median pay was $9,889 in 2017.

Baddour declined to reveal compensation details in Hamilton, except to say it’s probably "slightly higher" than the company-wide median because it’s close to Cincinnati – where wages are higher than in other StarTek markets. Baddour said StarTek offers "comprehensive benefits" and "very competitive wages" in Hamilton.

He also said the company continues to regard the Hamilton office as a "flagship location" that can help it win "high value, high touch opportunities" for new contracts.

"The clients that we have, they’re pretty excited about the performance that we have at the Hamilton campus," Baddour said. "That team has been great. They consistently deliver excellent service to our customers in a very wide range of industries."

The prospect for future growth makes economic development officials think the tax credit deal was worth doing in Hamilton. StarTek has an option to claim more space in the former department store that closed in 2009. The nonprofit CORE Fund bought the property in 2013 and invested $6.5 million in its redevelopment.

"The psychological impact of seeing the lights on in this building … is really important," said Brandon Saurber, director of strategy and information for the city of Hamilton. "This is the most highly traversed corridor in the city, High Street here, so having the street level filled still has a tremendous impact on the community."

Rudisell is encouraged by the surrounding development that’s taken root in Hamilton since 2015, including the $13 million Marcum Apartments that’s one block north of his story. Built in 2017, 80 percent of its 102 apartment units and four of its five retail spaces are leased.

Hamilton city officials say 50 small businesses have opened in the city’s urban core since 2014 and 13 more are slated to open this year. Beyond that, city officials are expecting a huge impact from the Spooky Nook Sports complex at the former Champion Paper Mill.

Five months after its groundbreaking, the $144 million indoor sports and convention center is expected to create 150 construction jobs and 365 part-time jobs after opening. Of the 100 full-time jobs expected at Spooky Nook, more than a third are expected to pay at least $56,000 annually.

"There’s going to be a lot more people downtown and walking around, a lot more foot traffic," Rudisell said. "A lot of everything."

#contactcenterworld

Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Source: https://www.wcpo.com


About STARTEK:
Company LogoStarTek is the customer care expert in business process outsourcing. Our job is to improve and manage the customer experience for our clients. StarTek’s suite of solutions includes sales, order management and provisioning, customer care, technical support, receivables management, and more. We offer clients a variety of multi-channel customer interaction capabilities including voice, chat, email, IVR and back-office support. Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, StarTek has delivery centers onshore, near shore, offshore and virtually through its StarTek@Home workforce.
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Published: Wednesday, March 27, 2019

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2021 Buyers Guide Headsets

 
1.) 
All Ears Ltd

Freemate headsets, and sanitary solutions for headsets
Freemate headsets available, corded and wireless for telephony and USB. 3 year warranty compatible with all model phones. We supply accessories from downleads, USB leads, ear cushions, leatherettes and we service call centre headsets, these are sanitised and repaired or serviced as required.

We supply the corporate environment, Government departments, security, medical and professional offices and meet the needs of many of New Zealand's SOHO market.

We can even develop and create one-off solutions for those with mobility or disability limitations opening up a world of freedom in communications. And we like to have fun on the journey.

2.) 
Comfort Telecommunications

Smith Corona Headsets
3 year warranty compatible with all model phones. Accessories also available. Cords, earpads, etc all factory direct pricing

3.) 
CTCOMM

Plantronics
Jabra
Sennheiser

4.) 
Headsets123


Since 1998 Headsets123 has been supplying Call Center Grade corded phone headsets, wireless headsets, headset telephones and a wide range of headset accessories to accommodate Medical, Insurance, Financial offices and large Call Centers environments offering you value, comfort, flexibility and increased productivity in your day to day business.

Our offices are located just outside of Seattle, WA. We hope you enjoy our wide range of headsets and accessories.

5.) 
Jabra

Jabra
Jabra is a leader in engineering communications and sound solutions – innovating to empower both consumers and businesses. We are committed to letting people hear more, do more, and be more than they ever thought possible. Through sound and video, we help transform lives. Jabra engineering excellence leads the way, building on 150 years of pioneering work. This allows us to create integrated headsets and communications tools that help professionals work more productively; wireless headphones and earbuds that let consumers better enjoy calls, music, and media; and pioneering video conferencing solutions, enabling seamless collaboration between distributed teams. Jabra employs approx. 1,400 people worldwide

6.) 
JPL Telecom

Based in Dorset, England, JPL designs and manufactures innovative professional telecom headsets. We have a wide range of professional telecom and call centre use headsets in wired, wireless DECT and Bluetooth styles.

Making sure that your customer’s voice can be heard is vital. JPL Telecom ensures that your customer’s experience is first-class. All headsets have our Surround Shield™ noise cancellation to make certain your customer only hears what you want them to hear. Comfortable and attractively designed headsets are built to withstand the constant use in any call centre environment.

Our aim is to continuously improve customer choice, offering a fair price and value to our resellers and end users.

7.) 
Unicom Services Ltd.

Contact center headsets and conference solutions
Unicom Services Ltd. is a distributor of professional headsets and communication solutions for all possible applications.

Products and Services:
* Headsets for contact center, office, small office and home, mobile phones, computer headsets and adapters.

* Conference systems - audio video terminals, personal and group multipoint conferences.

* Telecom Products - office wired and wireless phones, dect systems, softphones.

* Video conference software for contact centers and offices.

* Unified Communication Solution.

8.) 
Xiamen Mairdi Electronic Technology Co., Ltd

Call Center Headsets
Mairdi is a professional call center headsets maker in China. We've designed, produced and exported professional communication headsets for 16 years. Our headsets were exported to over 120 countires in the world.
Our headsets are widely compatible with nearly all IP Phones, desk phones, PC and mobiles. They are all noise cancelling and with built-in hearing protection technology. Our headset accessories are Plantronics or Jabra compatible. All the headsets and accessories are CE,FCC, RoHS certificated.
 

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