Rezoning For Call Centre: “City council will be looking at a rezoning application Monday afternoon that could create 400 jobs in Kelowna.”
Kelowna, B.C., could be getting its third major call centre if a rezoning application is approved by the Council of the City of Kelowna, according to Castanet.net news producer Ray Turner. It already has the endorsement of the City’s various departments, including Planning and Corporate Services Department, as well as Development Services. The Council’s city resident dominated Advisory Planning Commission has also recommended rezoning a portion of the former Western Star Trucks land on Leckie Place off Enterprise Way from I3 (Heavy Industrial) to I1 (Business–Industrial).
In an earlier report on Castanet.net, by columnist John Thomson in his widely-read Thomson Report, rumoured Omaha, Nebraska-based SITEL as the company eyeing part of the old plant as a new call centre that would employ between 250 and 400 people that would provide outsourced in-bound customer care services for the U.S. financial services industry. The Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission has reportedly been working aggressively to land another in-bound call centre, which are preferred by cities over telemarketing-style outbound centres, after enticing Teleperformance USA affiliate Marusa Marketing, Inc., to open up down Enterprise Way on Hardy St.
Marusa is currently in the midst of its second round of hiring for its centre, which is already operating, that handles customer calls for Sprint Corporation in the U.S. It expects that eventually, presumably in a few years, it will employ 1,000 people — or approximately 1% of Kelowna’s 100,000+ population, making it the City’s largest employer. In addition, Canada is the second fastest-growing destination for call centre operators after India, according to reports.
While approval of the rezoning is widely expected, it remains to be seen if Thomson was accurate in reporting on a rumour he had received that SITEL is the company. He’s had a number of journalistic (not to mention spelling and grammar) missteps in the past.