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Call center in Gloversville to bring as many as 1,000 jobs

Call center in Gloversville to bring as many as 1,000 jobs

A call center with Wall Street connections is moving into the former Frontier Communications buildin

A call center with Wall Street connections is moving into the former Frontier Communications building in the Midtown Plaza and will create as many as 1,000 jobs, a company official said Friday.

Officials, who discussed their plans on the condition the company’s name be withheld until a formal announcement sometime next week, said the new call center will perform corporate proxy and mutual fund proxy solicitations under subcontract to publicly traded companies.

The official said the company is a subsidiary of an established Wall Street services firm in business since 1942. The parent company’s Web site describes the business as a “full service proxy solicitation and corporate/financial communications firm.”

Advertisements posted Thursday on the job search site Monster.com seek customer service representatives and administrative assistants at wages of $10 to $11 per hour, senior call center representatives at $12 to $13 per hour and supervisors at $15 to $18 per hour. The ads, placed by two private firms specializing in employee recruitment, do not name the company.

Local leaders said Friday they could not reveal the name of the company.

The company official said there will be some management personnel paid over $100,000 a year. The center will operate in shifts that local leaders were told may be as short as six hours.

But there is a caveat: the jobs are advertised as six-month temporary positions. A local official who met with company representatives Friday said it was explained that the company has a lease until 2014 but will give the operation a six-month trial in Gloversville to see if it is a success.

Mayor Tim Hughes, one of a number of community leaders ecstatic over Friday’s revelation, said he is optimistic that a company investing significant time and money in reopening the old Frontier call center will decide to stay. Frontier, which had over 300 employees at the site, closed its operation there two years ago.

Community leaders acknowledged Friday they were unaware of this company and its plans, although a number of companies have inquired about the vacant Frontier call center building since it closed two years ago.

Reflecting on the promise of 1,000 jobs, Hughes said, “It’s going to be huge; it’s going to affect every facet of the city. These are jobs, real jobs; that’s going to put this area right back on the map.

“Wally Hart was so happy he was about three feet off the ground,” Hughes said of the chamber of commerce president.

“I’m thrilled to have someone come in here with that many jobs,” Hart said, adding, “hopefully they’ll find the employees and they’ll stay here.”

The company official said the state Labor Department and a number of local agencies will be assisting in job fairs to be announced in coming days.

Lisa McCoy, marketing director of the Fulton County Economic Development Corp., called the development “a ray of sunshine in what has been a rather dreary summer. I think this is a boost for not only downtown Gloversville and the county but for the entire region,” she said.

Hart said a company official expressed the concern that it may be difficult to find the numbers of employees needed to operate.

McCoy said she is confident that will not be an obstacle. “Certainly, there is no lack of prospective employees out there waiting to be hired,” she said.

Previous studies conducted by EDC, she said, have determined that Fulton County businesses draw employees from a multi-county area.

The company official said while there is considerable work to do to accommodate the new operation, the equipment and condition at the former call center is better than was expected.

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