News : Call Center to Leave Loring Commerce Centre
Limestone, ME, USA, Feb 4, 2015 -- A call center with about 200 employees plans to move to downtown Caribou after 17 years at the Loring Commerce Centre in Limestone.
Caribou City Manager Austin Bleess said that international call center company Sitel will move its Loring location about mid-March to the former ATX building at 63 Sweden St.
"They’ll be relocating to Caribou and creating new jobs above and beyond what they have currently," Bleess said. "Having all these new people in Caribou is the first step in our economic revitalization, and it’s the first of what we hope to be many positive economic development stories in 2015."
Bleess said the additional workforce downtown could help the city attract restaurants or other businesses that would be supported by spending from those workers.
The former ATX building was donated to the city back in the fall of 2013, which Bleess said caters to a call center because it has a dedicated server room with fire protection measures, back-up generators and direct access to dark fiber for high-speed Internet.
A company representative was not immediately available to say how many people Sitel plans to hire through the expansion. On Wednesday, the company was advertising just one job opening in Maine on its website.
Carl Flora, president and CEO of the Loring Development Authority, said he and his staff have started to seek out tenants who might wish to fill the 25,000-square-foot space, where Sitel’s tenancy since 1998 has been kept in good shape.
"Fortunately, it’s a very nice building," Flora said. "It was substantially upgraded in 1998 when they first moved in and again in 2008."
For a next tenant, Flora said the authority is seeking a business of a different type, which would not compete for the same workforce.
"My sense is that the businesses like Sitel are very sensitive to labor availability," Flora said. "Once they take up a good percentage of the available workforce, it becomes more of a challenge to attract a similar company competing for the same type of jobs."
He said he wishes that Sitel were staying at Loring but appreciated the company’s long tenure.
"We’ll adjust going forward and hopefully attract a different company that presents different opportunities for different prospective employees in the region," Flora said.
Flora and Bleess said the company also was seeking to move to Caribou to have access to a larger labor market to support its expansion.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Monday, February 9, 2015