HGS, a global call-center operator based in India, expects to add about 750 jobs in El Paso in the next two years, the company's chief executive officer said Tuesday as he and others celebrated the grand opening of HGS' second El Paso center, which does work for Prudential Financial and an unnamed health-care company.
"This is a good labor market for us, and our experience with Fort Bliss is good," Partha DeSarkar, CEO of HGS, or Hinduja Global Solutions, said after the ceremony held in a tent in the new center's parking lot
HGS expects to expand its El Paso work force from the current 850 people to about 1,600 people in the next two years, DeSarkar said.
"We certainly don't want any empty seats," he said.
The 60,000 square-foot center, located at 8465 Gran Vista in East El Paso, actually began operating late last year, and now employs 450 people. It has the capacity to employ 1,000 people, HGS officials said.
The company also employs 400 people at its other call center at 12120 Rojas, also on the East Side. That center, operating for more than a decade, was recently remodeled and expanded. It does work for five companies in telecommunications, consumer electronics, cable and Internet services, and health-care, reported Kathy Hamburger, president of HGS operations in the United States.
She would not reveal the name of HGS' clients.
HGS officials wouldn't say how many people work at its new center for Prudential. But Prudential officials said last year that the company expects to have a work force of 300 people within the next 2 1/2 years at what it calls its El Paso Business and Technology Solutions Center, operated by HGS. Half of those are expected to be military veterans and spouses of military members because Prudential and HGS are part of a special program to hire people with military ties.
Wages at HGS' El Paso centers range from $10.50 to $12.50 per hour, depending on the job, Hamburger reported.
DeSarkar said HGS, with sales of $412 million last year, is growing about 25 percent per year while the call-center industry as a whole is growing around 7 to 8 percent per year.
The company has 60 call centers worldwide, including nine in the United States.
HGS is growing because it employs good people and also because a big chunk of its business is in the thriving health-care and financial services fields, Hamburger said.
The call center industry, which employs several thousand people in El Paso, has been maligned by some El Paso community leaders for being mostly low-level jobs, but Hamburger said the industry provides advancement opportunities.
"I came in (the industry) as a customer-service rep. I took calls," Hamburger said.
HGS is hiring people with customer service experience at both its El Paso centers, Hamburger said. Applicants must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma, or GED. Applications are taken daily at the centers or online at teamhgs.com
source: EL Paso Times