After weeks of courting by local governments, Barclaycard US made it official Monday and confirmed plans to open a call center promising to create 1,500 new jobs in Hamilton at Vora Technology Park.
Barclaycard is a payments business and a division of United Kingdom-based Barclays Bank. Employees of the center will provide customer service support for card members who participate in the 25 co-branded credit card programs offered by the business, as well as payment products featuring the Barclaycard brand, according to the company.
“Barclaycard has landed in Hamilton,” said Mayor Pat Moeller. “Imagine the impact on people’s families, whether it’s a second income or their primary income… imagine the financial effects on our economy; those payroll dollars being spent in Hamilton, in Butler County, Ohio.”
Plans are to add up to 250 new employees next year at the Vora Technology Park, located at 101 Knightsbridge Drive in Hamilton. Once fully operational in coming years, the center will employ up to 1,500 employees, according to the financial services company.
“As the fastest-growing top-ten credit card issuer in the United States, this state-of-the-art center along with the great workforce in Ohio will help us deliver on our growth ambitions and focus on enhancing the customer experience,” said Craig Peters, chief operations and technology officer for Barclaycard US, in a written statement.
Earlier this year, it was announced that Colorado-based StarTek Inc., a business process outsourcing company, was planning to open a call center and hire about 682 people in downtown Hamilton. At the time, StarTek was believed to be the city’s single largest announcement for new job creation in at least a decade, according to Hamilton’s economic development department.
StarTek opened in July in renovated space at the former Elder-Beerman building at 150 High St.
The Barclaycard deal trounces those jobs projections, and twice this year the city has beat its own records for new job creation.
“To date this is one of the largest economic development projects for new job creation within the last decade in the State of Ohio and will continue to be a case study for future collaboration between state, local, commercial real estate and regional economic development organizations,” said Johnna Reeder, president and chief executive officer of regional economic development agency REDI Cincinnati, in a written statement.
Calls centers now represent three of Ohio’s 10 largest job-creating business projects over the last decade. In addition to Barclaycard, the other call center companies on the list include VXI Global Solutions and zulily Inc., according to Ohio Development Services Agency. While large, StarTek doesn’t rank on the statewide list.
More than $9 million will be invested in renovations to convert space at the office complex Vora Technology Park into the call center’s uses, said Mahendra Vora, founder of Vora Ventures, the property owner. Class A office space for favorable rental rates; loaded with high-tech infrastructure including data and power back-ups and fiber; along with ample parking, a public-private partnership and the availability of regional talent to fill job openings all helped attract the global company to southwest Ohio, Vora said.
Not to mention, there are few existing buildings of this size in the Tristate big enough to accommodate Barclays’ needs, Vora said.
“It’s a long-term lease that shows a commitment to the city,” Vora told Journal-News Monday. if you combine all these things that does make an ideal place for a call center.”
Estimates are that once employment has ramped up to about 1,500 jobs, nearly $50 million in gross payroll will be generated a year, according to the city. City council at its meeting Aug. 12 approved a tax credit of 85 percent for 10 years for Barclaycard, a savings to the company of about $850,000 annually, according to a city staff report. Barclays also received approval for an Ohio Job Creation Tax Credit that would lower its commercial activity tax bill to the state.
The new Hamilton contact center will offer full-time jobs with “generous benefits” such as health insurance, dental insurance, vision coverage and a 401K plan with matching corporate contributions, according to Barclaycard.
Hiring kicks off with a job fair scheduled for 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 9 at Vora Tech.
According to the company, Barclaycard also operates customer care centers in Henderson, Nev.; Newark, Del.; and Wilton, Maine.