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[May 16, 2008]
Call center to bring 500 jobs
(Indianapolis Star, The (KRT) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) May 15--California call center operator Alorica will hire at least 500 people at a new facility in Terre Haute, bringing much-needed jobs to a Western Indiana area hit by plant closings and layoffs.
The company, based in Chino, Calif., has begun to accept applications on its Web site and has been recruiting through online employment services for call center agents, trainers and support technicians.
A person familiar with the company's plans said it will hire at least 500 people.
Alorica spokeswoman Michelle Bruns declined to comment Wednesday but said the company would address any questions today.
Gov. Mitch Daniels' office issued a statement saying he will join executives of an unnamed company for an economic development announcement at 10 a.m. today at 1800 Fort Harrison Road in Terre Haute. Alorica's Web site lists the same address for its Terre Haute contact center.
Talk of the new jobs was spurred by Alorica's ads for new employees.
"Join us in launching our new Call Center in Terre Haute, Indiana!" says a recruitment ad on the simplyhired.com Web site. On careerbuilder.com, an ad that first appeared May 7 says hourly pay for Alorica call center agents in Terre Haute will be $9.
On its own Web site, Alorica described the Terre Haute call center as an office that could serve multiple companies. "Clients include top-tier, brand name companies in electronics, wireless services, and other consumer products industries," the recruitment ad says. "You will provide customers with information and technical support for client products or services (we're talking computers, dvd players, audio systems, TVs, digital cameras, cell phones and more), (and) resolve billing questions."
The work is coming as the city of 57,000 braces for the shutdown in 2009 of Pzifer's insulin plant. The 770-employee plant was the area's No. 3 private employer after 970-employee Bemis, a maker of polyethylene packaging material, and 1,200- employee Sony, which makes Blu-Ray discs for DVDs. Most of Pfizer's jobs in Terre Haute paid $18 to $25 per hour.
Terre Haute and Vigo County have lost about 2,800 jobs since 2000, including about 1,000 factory positions. Most of the rest were among wholesalers and retailers, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports show.
Alorica was founded in 1998 by software inventor Andy Lee, whose Helix product "improved service by providing faster, better and more accessible data to companies about their after-sales processes," says a 2002 report in the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin of Ontario, Calif.
Alorica spun off Helix and focused on call center services. The company now employs 7,500 at call centers in California, Florida, Kansas, Oklahoma, South Dakota, the Philippines and other locations.
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