News : El Paso Still Paying Tax Incentives to 18-year-old Call Center to Keep 525 Jobs
El Paso, TX, USA, Nov. 10, 2017 -- An 18-year-old El Paso call center deserves to continue to receive city tax incentives because it has good jobs and pays city sales taxes for orders from throughout Texas, city and Borderplex Alliance officials said.
The El Paso City Council last month approved an incentives agreement committing up to $1.5 million in sales tax rebates to New York-based FullBeauty Brands over the next six years if the company retains up to 525 jobs at its call center at 500 S. Mesa Hills Drive in West El Paso and meets other requirements.
It sells large-size clothing for men and women under seven brands, and home products under its BrylaneHome brand, through catalogs and websites.
All orders come through its El Paso call center, and products are shipped from its Indianapolis distribution center.
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Mayor Dee Margo and Jon Barela, chief executive officer of the Borderplex Alliance, a regional economic development organization that helps the city recruit and retain companies, in a news release last month applauded FullBeauty for its new commitment to retain up to 525 existing El Paso workers and its plan to hire new workers.
Jessica Herrera, director of the city Economic and International Development Department, said FullBeauty officials said they might move the call center out of El Paso without a new incentives agreement.
Alfonso Espinoza, human resources director at the call center, said he was not aware of company officials considering a move. However, that question has to be answered by officials at FullBeauty's corporate headquarters in New York, he said.
Ruth Bibby, the company's public relations manager in New York, did not respond to El Paso Times' requests to answer questions.
To get the full $1.5 million under the new agreement, the company would have to retain 525 workers each year and pay $12.70 per hour to at least 200 workers each year over six years.
The call center, which currently employs 630 people, pays a starting wage of $10.25 per hour, plus benefits, Espinoza said.
Barela and Margo also noted that the company plans to hire as many as 500 more workers in the next three years. However, the company is only required to retain current jobs, not add new jobs, under the agreement.
FullBeauty's Espinoza said in a recent interview that the 500 new hires wouldn't all be new jobs. Many of those would be people hired for jobs vacated through attrition and other reasons, and also would include seasonal jobs, he said
The FullBeauty call center has an annual employee turnover rate of 47 percent, which is below the industry's standard, Espinoza said.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Monday, November 13, 2017
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