YOUNGSTOWN - A telecommunications company located in downtown Youngstown's 20 Federal Place building will double its space and add more than 200 new customer service positions as part of a new client's decision to move jobs from overseas back to domestic shores.
Telecommunications giant VXI Global Solutions and Western Union, an international payment and money transfer service, announced their new partnership Tuesday morning at VXI's Youngstown offices. VXI, which already employs more than 700 workers in the leased space in downtown Youngstown, will begin ramping up to about 1,000 to handle work brought on by its new client.
"We are announcing the expansion of our operations here in Youngstown with the introduction of our Western Union client," Greg Ouimet, vice president for quality, training and audit with VXI Global Solutions, said Tuesday morning inside the call center offices. "These jobs were off-shore and we are bringing them back on-shore."
The jobs, mostly full-time customer service for Western Union money transfer and loyalty services, will start at around $9.50 per hour with benefits and incentives available.
Steven E. Sigman, vice president of global operations for Western Union, said Youngstown was chosen from among several locations nationwide largely due to available work force and potential for growth here.
"VXI just struck the right chord with us and had locations that matched our agent footprint," Sigman said, noting Western Union has more than 4,000 agents nationwide that require technical support at locations like Youngstown's VXI.
Representatives from the city also expressed their delight with the announcement.
"We are excited about the expansion of VXI, not just for the income tax dollars, but also for the job creation and putting young people to work on a daily basis," said Sean T. McKinney, building commissioner for the city's Department of Public Works. "Their investment has been huge."
In addition to the employment, VXI has invested more than $5 million in the property including infrastructure upgrades, telecommunications work stations and equipment.
VXI, which first opened the in-bound call center in 2009 on the fourth floor of the former Phar-Mor Building, has expanded throughout the years and now employs more than 700 workers on multiple floors. The company plans to expand even further, taking over a vacancy on the building's first level near the food court for use by the company as human resources.
Hiring will focus on customer service qualifications, and applicants may apply online at VXI.com or by stopping in at the company's downtown Youngstown offices.
VXI employs about 12,000 employees worldwide, 4,000 in the United States and 2,500 in Ohio. About a thousand will work in Youngstown after the hiring is complete. VXI's other clients include DirectTV, US Tech Support and AT&T, said Tobias Parrish, VXI's vice president of U.S. operations.