Nova Scotia

Yarmouth County call centre gets new operator

Millennium1 Solutions announced Thursday that it’s taking over the operation in Hebron, N.S., which has been run by Web.com for the last 18 years.

Millennium1 Solutions expects to employ up to 300 people within 18 months

Millennium1 Solutions announced Thursday it's taking over the operation in Hebron, N.S., that is run by Web.com. (Google Streetview)

A call centre in Yarmouth County that announced in December it would be closing this year has a new operator, which plans to begin hiring people right away and be up and running later this summer.

Millennium1 Solutions announced Thursday that it's taking over the operation in Hebron, N.S., that has been run for the last 18 years by Web.com. That company announced late last year it would be leaving the community in 2020. At the time, it employed 198 people.

Yarmouth MLA Zach Churchill said the news is significant for the community. Web.com was the single largest private sector employer in Yarmouth County. Knowing a new company is coming in to take over is welcome news, he said.

"It's particularly exciting because they're indicating that there's great room for growth in this area for employment and I think people will be very excited about this news," Churchill said.

That growth shouldn't take long.

Goal of 300 employees within 18 months

In a telephone interview, Millennium1 Solutions CEO Tom Band said the hiring process has already started and all 100 remaining Web.com employees would be interviewed for jobs.

The plan is to fill 105 positions by mid-August, with the business ready to be fully operating by the end that month. Band said the expectation is they will quickly scale up to about 300 employees.

"It is our goal and expectation to be there within the next 18 months," he said.

Band said the company, which also has an operation in Bridgewater, N.S., and other parts of Canada, had been looking to expand within this province and keyed in on Yarmouth County as soon as they heard Web.com was planning to leave.

The combination of long-tenured, dedicated employees, a bilingual workforce and the physical space itself were attractive features, he said.

Opportunity for incentives

The new operation will focus on a financial services client, e-commerce and retail and loyalty program support, as well as a health sciences client.

In the time of COVID-19, Band said all public health measures would be observed, including physical distancing, daily screening, providing personal protective equipment and allowing for some people to work from home.

Typically an expansion such as this would be a challenge during a public health emergency, but Band said the team in Yarmouth, coupled with their existing operation in Bridgewater, has made for a smooth transition.

Millennium1 Solutions is working with Nova Scotia Business Inc. on possible performance-based payroll rebate incentives. The company is also eligible for training incentives through the Labour and Advanced Education Department.

Municipality putting in $2M

As part of the agreement, the Municipality of the District of Yarmouth, which owns the building, will spend $2 million upgrading the property.

The municipality's CAO, Victoria Brooks, said that work would include physical work on the building as well as security upgrades necessary for the nature of the business that will happen there.

"The building is 20-plus years old and it's never had a major refresh," she said.

"We're addressing some accessibility issues and making the building flow the way a modern workspace should flow."

The work will happen in conjunction with the opening of the business.

The company signed an eight-year lease with an option for two three-year extensions. Terms of the lease were not disclosed.

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