Jan. 19--PHARR -- Convergys plans to hire 1,000 new full-time customer service representatives at its Pharr call center, nearly quadrupling the number of employees there.
The call center company, which fields customer service calls for clients including DirecTV, Macy's and Cigna, a health insurance company, will host a job fair Tuesday for the positions. About 350 employees now work in the El Centro Mall call center at 500 N. Jackson Road.
"Our client has asked for more bodies in that call center," said Brook Beiting, the media relations specialist for Convergys. "There hasn't been any shut down (of other centers), this is just a ramp up."
The call center, which staffs workers 24 hours a day, seven days a week, will not expand in size. Instead they will add more seats to the existing building.
Beiting declined to identify which companies contract call center operations at its Pharr location. The company also has call centers in Brownsville and Laredo.
Convergys will first recruit locally to fill the positions, Beiting said.
"Our wages are competitive with any call center that's around," she said. Starting pay for a "problem resolution representative" at the Pharr location is $9 per hour, according to a job listing on the company's website.
The company also offers benefits, paid time off and tuition reimbursement. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED and be able to work 40 hours a week, mostly in the evenings.
Pharr City Manager and Economic Development Corp. Director Fred Sandoval said the company had let him know last year that it would likely be expanding, but he didn't expect such a large jump in numbers.
"I think it's going to be awesome for the economy," he said. "It's a great way to start the new year to keep people employed, and I know they pay pretty well."
Monitor staff writer Elizabeth Findell contributed to this report.
Gail Burkhardt covers Mission, western Hidalgo County, Starr County and general assignments for The Monitor. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and (956) 683-4462.
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