Nova Scotia

'A major step for us': Sydney Call Centre hiring more people

Todd Riley, vice-president of the Sydney Call Centre, said the three biggest clients — AT&T, Sirius satellite radio and GM's OnStar — have been pleased with what they've seen and are now looking for them to take on more work.

Open interviews were being held Tuesday and Wednesday

Sydney Call Centre currently employees just over 600 people and plans to hire another 100 by the end of the year. (Brett Ruskin/CBC)

A job fair is being held at a major call centre in Sydney, N.S., nearly a year after hundreds of employees were suddenly thrown out of work for weeks before being rescued by an American buyer.

The Sydney Call Centre, which currently employs just over 600 people and plans to hire another 100 by the end of the year, held open interviews on Tuesday and will again on Wednesday.

Vice-president Todd Riley said the call centre's three biggest clients — AT&T, Sirius satellite radio and GM's OnStar — have been pleased with what they've seen and are now looking for them to take on more work.

"Today is a major step for us," said Riley. "We've had a great opportunity in the first 10 months and now we're starting to see where this business potentially can go in the future."

The call centre was formerly known as ServiCom. It declared bankruptcy late last year, leading to 600 people being laid off just three weeks before Christmas.

The call centre was subsequently bought by MCI Canada, a company of Iowa-based businessman Anthony Marlowe. It rehired most of the former employees earlier this year.

More contracts, more people

Riley said the call centre needs to hire more people so they can handle the extra contracts they will be working with in the future.

The call centre is important as an employer and its economic impact is a key contributor to the community, Riley said.

"For us it's, let's see what we can do to continue to increase the tax base, hopefully get some more dollars down here in the Cape Breton region to start investing into our community projects," he said.

Wayne Sharpe, who worked with Servicom and now the Sydney Call Centre for a total of 19 years, said it has been a positive experience since the new owners took over.

"It's a great place to be," said Sharpe. "There's good benefits, good health benefits, good working conditions. It's a family atmosphere."

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