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Myrtle Beach Prime for Call Center Jobs, 1,000s Hired in Tampa Bay

The results of a recent demographic study commissioned by the Myrtle Beach Economic Development Corp. has deemed the South Carolina city as prime territory for a large call center or back-office operation. CBRE Consulting, who conducted the study on behalf of the EDC, found that the Myrtle Beach area has several factors that contribute to its call-center-readiness, including roughly 475,000 people living within a 45-mile radius. The study results provide a "green light" to the EDC’s pending agreement with ADEVCO, a national real estate developer that specializes in call centers, to develop, manage and rent a proposed 60,000-square-foot call center which could bring hundreds of new jobs to the area. The project would cost the EDC approximately $5 million dollars, and the organization is currently reaching out to the city, the county and local utilities to as potential funding partners.

The Tampa Bay Times recently boasted the Florida city's reputation as a "call center operations hub" after it brought in more than 1,000 new jobs in the last year. Though some city officials have shown concern regarding influence that these generally lower-paying jobs will have on the local economy, employment for the 2012 shows promise. Some of the local call centers, like Time Warner and Humana Cares, are looking to add trained professionals to their workforce. Time Warner plans to add 500 information technology and human resource jobs to its resource center in Hills-borough County. Other local centers planning to expand this year include the Humana Cares unit in St. Petersburg, Fla., which will be hiring 149 new call center employees, including 84 registered nurses, and the Memphis-based company TruGreen will be hiring about 175 people to staff a new center in Tampa.

The Clarksville Montgomery County Industrial Development Board is working to win over the call center Agero, which has been hunting for a new location, and bring 415 new call-center jobs to the Tennessee city. Clarksville is reportedly offering a $125,000 job-creation cash grant to the company, to be used for startup costs and training. The incentives represent $301.20 per job for the 415 potential jobs created. Agero held career fairs in Clarksville, Tenn. and Florence S.C. in January to compare the labor pools against one another.

Convergys Corp. plans to expand its University Research Park call center in Cinncinati, Ohio, this month by hiring dozens of customer service jobs to support two new clients. Convergys will not name either client, but said that one was "a cable satellite company" and the other handles automotive assistance service. The company is looking for candidates with strong keyboarding and computer skills, and who have an understanding of customer relationships and concerns.

Auto and home insurance provider, Unitrin Direct, a Kemper Corp. company, will be cutting 30 local jobs this spring when it relocates its Chattanooga call center to Scranton, Pa. The move will cut costs for the online and telephone-based company. The latest staff cuts are scheduled over the next couple of months.

To view the latest industry jobs, or to available positions in your contact center, visit ICMI’s Industry Job Board