Monday, January 24, 2011

Sitel, Best Buy ink deal for Call Center in Glasgow, KY

Glasgow Daily Times The Glasgow Daily Times Thu Jan 20, 2011, 10:39 AM CST

GLASGOW — A well-known retailer of electronics and entertainment products has announced the company will be locating support services in Glasgow during the next few months, which will mean more than 500 additional jobs for the community’s workforce.

Best Buy Co. Inc. made public Wednesday that the business has signed a deal with Sitel, a leading global business process outsourcing provider, to set up call center operations at the Sitel facility adjacent to the Western Kentucky University-Glasgow Campus off Roseville Road.

Representatives from Best Buy did not respond to inquiries about the deal before press time.

It’s been a long and sometimes frustrating road for local and state officials in bringing the Sitel facility and the right client to the community. After two years of negotiations with the state of Kentucky, Sitel announced in July of 2007 that it would be building the call center in Glasgow. Construction began a year later during the summer of 2008 and was completed in January of 2009.

Dave Garner, president and CEO of Sitel, visited the community that month to tour the new building and announce his company’s plans for the site. At that time he thought Sitel would be able to find one or more clients for the facility quickly, according to a previous Glasgow Daily Times article. The task proved to be more challenging than he imagined.

Because of the local facility’s proximity to the company headquarters in Nashville, Sitel officials had previously said they wanted the operation in Glasgow to be a showplace with just the right client that they could bring prospective customers to see.

Working behind the scenes, local officials in conjunction with Sitel representatives brought multiple potential customers, including ones such as Apple, to tour the building and the community during the past two years, but in spite of their efforts no deals were signed.

Timothy Miller, the new Sitel site director for the Glasgow facility, said his company had received significant support from the local community and its representatives during the long process and he singled out former Mayor Darrell Pickett and IDEA Executive Director Dan Iacconi, along with Vicky Wade with the Office of Employment Training and Lisa Bosnell with WKU-Glasgow as being instrumental in sealing the deal with Best Buy.

“They were very helpful and welcoming. A lot of time, effort and energy has been put into this and I think we finally have the right fit for the center,” Miller said.

“It’s how my last day of work was spent. Bringing jobs to Glasgow is still important to me,” Pickett said Wednesday afternoon.

He and Iacconi used the last few days of 2010 to work with representatives from Best Buy and Sitel to finalize negotiations that had been ongoing for some time.

Officials with Best Buy were very pleased with their visit to the community, according to Miller and now that a contract has been signed, the hiring process for employees will begin very soon.

“It will move very quickly over the next few months. Hopefully, by the end of July we will have achieved the goal of more than 500 employees,” he said.

To help that process, Sitel will have a career open house at the facility next week on Tuesday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to noon. The company is looking for employees with good people skills more than anything else because they will be dealing with warranty-related customer service issues.

“We need people who provide friendly customer service ... have warmth. We can train them on the technical side. They will need to have basic keyboarding skills. We’re also hiring for management positions, so we’re looking for those particular skill sets as well,” Miller said.

Sitel representatives are hoping for 1,500 to 2,000 applicants for the two-day career open house next week. Miller said people were already stopping by the Sitel building at 101 Hilltopper Way to make inquiries, but he stressed the best way to apply is online at in the “Careers” section before the open house.

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