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TeleTech job fair seeks 300 new employees

BY DAVID ZOELLERdzoeller@paducahsun.comSNbS

TeleTech Holdings, the Colorado-based company planning to hire more than 300 people for its soon-to-open customer experience center in Paducah Commerce Park, will hold a job fair next week at West Kentucky Community & Technical College.

The job fair will be Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Emerging Technology Building.

Employees at TeleTech's call center in the new 30,000 square-foot state-of-the-art facility will provide customer experience and communications services on behalf of a major health insurance company. The new site is one of two local call centers planned by TeleTech, the other being in the downtown commerce center, which will be renovated in the coming months. That site is expected to house more than 100 additional employees.

The call center positions will cover a wide range, according to TeleTech, including customer service representatives, team leads, trainers, recruiters, technical assistance and IT, operations managers and facilities staff. Applicants are encouraged to go to www.teletechjobs.com to view open job descriptions and apply.

According to Jim Pape, vice president for workforce and economic development at the college, TeleTech officials have already been here conducting interviews and hiring. The college has been involved in discussions with TeleTech and local economic development officials ever since the company first announced plans to locate in Paducah.

"We've been working with them over a year," Pape said, "just like we work with everybody Paducah Economic Development brings in."

According to Chad Chancellor, Paducah Economic Development president, "they (the college) are probably our secret weapon. No matter what kind of incentives you offer, you've got to have a (trained) workforce."

A stop at the college is part of the standard tour when a prospect comes to town.

"I'd say we take 90 percent of our prospects to see them," Chancellor said. "That's how important I think they are."

 The college works with prospects on a variety of issues, from what type of workforce training is needed, to where to hold the training. In addition to providing space for the job fair, the college will also provide space for training the new workers.

Just providing space to train over 300 people is a challenge.

"We've got all that taken care of," Pape said, of the logistical maneuvering. "We've found the space, we freed up some academic classrooms and some computer labs."

A lot of staff worked on the issue, especially those who schedule classes. "We're not shortchanging our students, or canceling any classes, we just have been very creative in arranging where to put them," Pape said.

While educating students is the college's No. 1 priority, serving the community is also important, according to Pape.

"We do a whole lot of things that people might not associate with the college," Pape said. "Our overall mission is to serve the community. We view the Emerging Technology Building as a community building ... the community helped us build it."

An estimated 8,500 people attended some community-related event (other than attending class) there last year, he said, and that number is expected to rise even higher this year.

The role the college plays in economic development is "not something you would normally think of a community college doing," said Pape.

"If we can help train people (like TeleTech), and make them better employees, and taxpayers who contribute to the economy, that's 400 new jobs in Paducah ... how good is that?"

Contact David Zoeller, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8676.


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