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itel in Asheville to hire 60 workers



8/4/2011 - Sitel in Asheville to hire 60 workers
by Staff Reports - Asheville Citizen Times


            Sitel, the huge call center operation off Hendersonville Road in south Asheville, will add 60 employees in the coming weeks, bringing its total local workforce to almost 600 people. That's up from about 300 in 2008.

"We have been very, very fortunate in this facility that we've been able to grow over the past three years," said site manager Jean Harmon. "This (contract) is an existing client that we've had for a very long time. We've had a relationship with them for 11 years, so this is going to be a long-term relationship."
The contract necessitating the new hires is with a financial services company, but Harmon said she could not disclose the name. Workers will provide "inbound customer care support and services for a financial services client due to increased call volume," according to Sitel's press release.
The recruitment drive for new employees begins immediately and Sitel hopes to have the new workers on board in August.
The company will devote 100 "customer care agents" to the new initiative, which will necessitate hiring 60 people. Starting wages are $8 an hour with full benefits, although Harmon noted that employees typically get raises after 90 days, six months and one year of employment.
Unemployment has remained stubbornly high in North Carolina and the mountains, jumping to 8.2 percent in June, up from 7.7 percent in May, according to the N.C. Employment Security Commission. During June, the metro area of Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson and Madison counties added just 300 net jobs.
Call centers have been hiring, though. In December 2010, Arvato Digital Services in Weaverville announced it was adding 408 employees. Those job s carried an average annual salary of $26,143, not including benefits,
Harmon said Sitel has been pleased with the local workforce.
"We have one of the most proficient labor pools in the nation, as far as I'm concerned," Harmon said. "There are just some wonderful people in this area, and the level of work here is just phenomenal."
Based in Nashville, Tenn., Sitel opened its Asheville operation 14 years ago. Overall, it employs 52,000 people in more than 135 domestic and offshore centers in 26 countries across North America, South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia Pacific. The company is privately held and majority owned by the Canadian diversified company, Onex Corporation.

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