The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

October 6, 2011

NCO announces plan to hire 500 in Best Buy, Intuit expansions

JOPLIN, Mo. — Officials with NCO Group Inc. on Thursday announced a plan to hire 500 seasonal and full-time employees at its Joplin call center at 1717 W. Seventh St. in the coming weeks.

“Applications are being accepted immediately,” said Chris Autry, manager of the Joplin Customer Management Contact Center.

The Joplin location currently employs about 700 workers.

“The hiring will coincide with the program expansion of two of NCO’s leading clients, Best Buy and Intuit,” Autry said.

Autry said the jobs will start at $10 an hour and increase from there. Those who work nights and weekends will earn more. He said there also are performance bonuses. Full-time workers receive a benefits package that includes medical and dental insurance, life insurance, paid time off, holidays, and a 401(k) plan.

NCO will conduct a job fair from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Joplin call center. People also may apply online at www.ncogroup.com/careers, or call 417-621-7000.

‘ROCKING AND ROLLING’

Mike Wiggins, board chairman of the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, said at the announcement event that it was cause for celebration.

“We’re talking about 500 jobs,” Wiggins said. “When the rest of the country is having a difficult time, we’re rocking and rolling.”

Wiggins was enthusiastic about the announcement’s economic benefit to Joplin.

“We should be celebrating,” he said. “Jobs is what it’s all about.”

Mayor Mike Woolston said NCO’s announcement is a vote of confidence for Joplin’s work force.

“You are an important partner in our economic efforts,” Woolston said.

Bob Corsi, NCO senior vice president for customer management, said the company has been in Joplin five years, with Best Buy as a client for three years and Intuit as a client for two years.

“These are key clients,” Corsi said. “This is going to offer tremendous career opportunities to potential employees and current employees.”

The company’s employees handle incoming calls, Corsi said. For Best Buy, the workers take calls from people seeking to purchase products, and for the Geek Squad technical support and installation teams. For Intuit, the NCO employees handle technical questions from callers about the company’s TurboTax software. Corsi said workers don’t offer tax advice.

Corsi said the hiring initially will be seasonal employees, with the season including the Christmas shopping season through the tax filing season. After the income tax season, he said, many of those workers will be promoted to full-time status, and others will be eligible for full-time work there in the future.

“Folks that do a good job will likely have a full-time job opportunity,” Corsi said.

Both Corsi and Autry said they hope the hiring plan helps boost the Joplin economy after the May 22 tornado and helps put some people affected by the tornado back to work.

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