News : Tax-break Recipient Carbonite Ships Some Maine Call Center Jobs to Jamaica
Lewiston, ME, USA, Feb, 2018 -- Seven years after Carbonite announced it was bringing tech call center jobs back to the United States from India – and had picked Lewiston for hundreds of those new positions – the company has started sending some Lewiston jobs to Jamaica.
And after being hailed for new investment and business leadership, Carbonite has halved the number of employees working here since 2015.
Carbonite's offices on Mollison Way in Lewiston. The company says as it loses workers here, it is hiring replacements, as needed, at a Jamaican call center. The company employs half as many people in the Lewiston office as it did three years ago.
In annual reports required by the state from recipients of tax incentives under the Pine Tree Development Zone Program, Carbonite reported maintaining more than 365 "new, quality jobs" in 2014 and 2015 in its office above a bowling alley on Mollison Way.
By 2016, the number dropped to 226. Fewer than 180 work there now, the company said.
Norman Guadagno, whose title at Carbonite is chief evangelist and senior vice president of marketing, said in an interview last week that the workforce changes are part of a broader strategy that reflects Carbonite’s evolving customer base. The company is signing on more business clients with complex data backup, storage and security needs as it sees a shrinking market of customers who are quicker to call for help.
Since May, the work done by lower-skilled employees who have left the Lewiston office has been picked up, as needed, by new hires at a Jamaican call center.
"I’ll be very clear: People are not losing their jobs and then those jobs are going to Jamaica; people lose their jobs through attrition, voluntary and sometimes involuntary (ways), and if it’s a tier 1 job and we need to fill it, we will fill a tier 1 job in Jamaica," Guadagno said.
"It is no way a reflection of a diminished commitment to the Lewiston facility," he said. "It’s a reflection of an increased commitment to the right type of people in each of the facilities that we have."
Guadagno said Carbonite still considers Lewiston "our core, main support hub."
Spokeswoman Sarah King declined to say whether the company has extended its lease at 24 Mollison Way. According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, it is set to expire June 1.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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