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News : North Omaha Call Center Could Bring as Many as 200 Jobs to Area
North Omaha, NE, USA, Aug 13, 2015 -- A new call center could offer as many as 200 jobs in north Omaha, a part of town where community leaders say good-paying jobs are sorely needed.
North End Teleservices will hire workers to answer incoming calls for tasks including sales support and after-hours answering services.
The company still has a ways to go. Its leaders must first find clients for potential employees. But that hasn’t stopped President and Chief Operating Officer Carmen Baker from rolling up her sleeves and tidying up workspaces in preparation for the business’s opening near 24th and Hamilton Streets.
Today, she’s introducing the new business to the neighborhood at a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The call center will occupy a nearly 10,000-square-foot office space at 1500 N. 24th St. in a building owned by the Omaha Economic Development Corp., which also helped find investors in the business.
Baker said she aims to fill North End Teleservices’ employment pipeline through a job fair, which will be held in Suite 111 of the 24th Street office today from 5 to 8 p.m.
"We’re looking to attract people that want to think of this as a career path and not just a job," Baker said. "I grew up working in call centers and I’m not sure everyone that goes through it sees it that way, but we’re certainly going after that."
The addition of North End reinforces ongoing investments and development at places like Metropolitan Community College and the Highlander neighborhood, said Willie Barney, president of civic outreach and development at the nonprofit Empowerment Network.
The promise of upward mobility and a career path is much-needed in an impoverished part of the city, he said.
The median household income is about $20,700 in the census tract where North End will be located, according to federal data. The call center jobs will pay toward the upper end of a mid-$8-an-hour to $13-an-hour range, Baker said. That would be between about $18,000 and $27,000 a year for a full-time worker.
Also needed in north Omaha: Jobs closer to where people live, civic leaders say. The average commute to work for people living in that tract also is 10 percent longer than the city’s average.
Josh Corrigan, GIS coordinator at the Metropolitan Area Planning Agency, said that data show traffic outflows from north Omaha "mostly send people toward downtown, but there is definitely movement to southwest Omaha via Dodge Street."
That makes sense to Barney, who said most call center and other good jobs are far from north Omaha.
Omaha Economic Development Corp. owns the building in which North End will operate. It helped to arrange startup financing for the business. Michael Maroney, the nonprofit’s president, declined to say how much capital was invested in the new business, or its investors.
"Among the things lacking in north Omaha are substantial, for-profit businesses, so anything we can do to create and stimulate that, we will be a part of that," Maroney said.
People with good jobs also will create an economic ripple effect. They’ll spend money at other neighborhood businesses, Barney said.
The call center "has a positive impact in that the (North End) employees will be able to support those growing and developing businesses in the area," Barney said.
"This announcement is huge because it is specifically bringing jobs directly to the heart of where we need them the most."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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North End Teleservices is a global provider of multi-channel contact center services.
Published: Friday, August 14, 2015