StarTek gets call for more workers

QUICKREAD

StarTek By the Numbers

• $67.4 million in revenues in first quarter of 2010

• 7 percent decrease in revenue from fourth quarter 2009

• 8,900 employees worldwide

• 4 call centers in Colorado.

• 7 facilities elsewhere in U.S.

• 5 centers in Canada, Costa Rica and the Philippines.

3 plants closed in Texas, Wyoming and Ontario, Canada, last year.

$4.27 cost per share as of Wednesday, down from a high of $9.62 this time last year.



Three weeks after announcing the layoff of 33 workers at its North Avenue call center, StarTek said Wednesday it is adding up to 100 positions at its other facility in town.

Jason Crowell, recruitment manager for the two Grand Junction call centers, said the Denver-based firm won a new contract from a current client that is allowing it to “max out” its Seventh Street facility.

Crowell said people affected by the planned layoffs will be eligible to apply for the new jobs, adding that many already have.

“We’re doing a whole lot of hiring, and then we’ve got that transition from the other business, so things are a little crazy here,” he said. “We weren’t sure it was going to go on then (when the layoffs were announced), but it’s turned into a good-news story.”

On June 30, the company’s senior director of operations, Andy Rangel, said one of its main clients, which he declined to name, had changed its business model. As a result, work that StarTek was doing for it no longer was needed.

That change affected 33 workers right away — their jobs will end by Aug. 31 — but up to 120 others could be affected over the next 11 months, he said.

“In light of the announcement we had to make earlier this month about some layoffs, the award of these new jobs is particularly great news,” Rangel said in a statement.

Crowell said the company has no plans to completely shut down its North Avenue center. He said that while it’s unlikely all of the displaced workers from that center will end up on Seventh Street, he said many will, including a good portion of the workers and supervisors affected by the layoffs.

“The frontline employees do different work in the two sites, so it’s two different lines of business with two distinctive types of work,” Crowell said. “There are plenty of people who have come to apply to make the transfer to the line of business that’s growing. We’re going to get a bunch of people who are already working for StarTek and know the business to come and take these jobs. We do need to hire from the outside, though, because they’re not all going to be taken.”

He said one of the company’s telecommunications clients that it already does work for at the Seventh Street center added to that contract.

A company news release said the expansion will involve 90 new positions, but Crowell said it likely will be about 100 and possibly more.

“We had like 91 was the original number, but we’re arranging cubicles and we’re making room so we can fit as many as we can into this line of business,” he said. “So, it could be over 100 in the end, but right now we’re shooting for 100.”


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