When, at the beginning of the year it was announced that a call center would open in downtown Hamilton, what everybody didn’t know at the time was that city officials were working to lure an even bigger call center to bring jobs.
City leaders successfully recruited both companies, the Colorado-based business processes provider StarTek Inc. and the U.S. payments division of international banking company Barclays.
When StarTek announced plans in February to open in the former Elder-Beerman building on High Street, it was the city’s single biggest announcement for new job creation in at least a decade, according to Hamilton’s economic development department. Plans are for the center to create nearly 700 jobs once it ramps up to full operations.
It was a project to be trumped only by an even bigger announcement for new job creation, the second time in late summer from credit card issuer Barclaycard US, which pledges to create about 1,500 new jobs over several years at a call center opening at Vora Technology Park.
StarTek opened in July with the first group of workers, and as of November, employment at the center had reached about 200 workers and counting, according to site manager Scott Farmer.
Barclaycard has conducted several job fairs for its center due to open early 2016, according to the company.
“Barclaycard is excited to expand our business and build a world-class team in Hamilton. We’ve been working hard against a very aggressive timeline to open our doors for business and we’re currently on target for February,” said spokesman Matthew Fields in an email update to Journal-News this month.
“Our project management, technology and facility management teams continue to press ahead as fast as possible to get us ready. We have met many wonderful and qualified candidates through our job fairs and we’re eager to start hiring as soon as possible,” Fields said.
Both of the call centers fill previously vacant building space.