Worker pool entices call center

A high-quality work force and Grand Junction’s weather make it a solid location for another call center, says the company that is close to opening up the city’s third such center.

Press-One, a Fort Collins-based company, this week is setting up its center at 2936 North Ave. and hopes to begin training employees a week later.

Eventually, the company hopes to hire 75 to 100 people earning $10 to $12 an hour, Press-One President Andy Orr said.

Once the center is in full operation, the Grand Junction center should match the Fort Collins center’s annual payroll of about $4 million, Orr said.

“We’ve been looking at Grand Junction for quite a long time,” Orr said.

His hopes to have opened the call center already were frustrated by the credit crunch, but after working with Home Loan State Bank, the deal was reached for Press-One to occupy 6,300 square feet on the west side of the Habitat for Humanity building.

Grand Junction fits well into Press-One’s plans because it gives the company redundancy and access to a well-trained labor market, Orr said.

“Grand Junction rarely gets the same weather as the Front Range,” Orr said. “When we get 3-foot storms, we can be certain we’ll be open in Grand Junction while Fort Collins might be snowbound.”

In addition to the geographic advantage Grand Junction offers, the presence of the Star Tek and Choice Hotels call centers offer the opportunity for Press-One to tap a well-trained and capable work force.

“Both of them are first-class organizations,” Orr said.

Expanding to Grand Junction also keeps Press-One “100 percent U.S.-based,” Orr said. “We’re not offshore.”

Home Loan began talking with Orr about nine months to a year ago on the recommendation of a Front Range bank with which Home Loan works, Home Loan President Craig Springer said.

It’s “a cool story for Grand Junction,” Springer said. “I hope other Front Range businesses look at the model” of having operations on both sides of the Rocky Mountains.

Orr had a “a nice vision for where he wants to take the business,” Springer said. “I think Grand Junction is fortunate to have him.”

Press-One offers an employee-incentive program that offers cash rewards to employees when they reach company goals.

Employees might leave work with $10 or $20 from the “random intermittent reinforcement” program offered through, Orr said.

Press-One was founded in 1990 as a call center organization offering customer service to newspapers. The company changed its name to Press-One as it broadened its customer base to other companies, Orr said.

Press-One, however, includes a nod to the company’s roots with newspapers as it broadens the company’s appeal to other industries, he said.


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