published Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Convergys Corp. adding nearly 500 jobs in Chattanooga

Convergys in Chattanooga. File photo.
Convergys in Chattanooga. File photo.
Chad McClure
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JOB FAIR

Convergys will hold a career fair Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at its office at Eastgate Town Center, 5600 Brainerd Road. Candidates are encouraged to apply online at careers.convergys.com before the job fair.

Convergys Corp.'s workforce in Chattanooga will soon hit a new high mark since the Great Recession with the hiring of nearly 500 employees.

Convergys is adding customer service workers in part to handle growth from a satellite TV client. The ramp-up will put its Chattanooga head count at about 1,300 by midsummer, according to the company.

Cincinnati-based Convergys had about 1,500 Chattanooga workers in 2008, before the sharp economic downturn.

Altogether, companies in the region have announced almost 3,400 new jobs in the past week, with Engineered Floors' 2,400 slots the largest of the additions.

Convergys will add the workers to its Eastgate Town Center location off Brainerd Road, though it won't increase its 65,000 square feet of space.

Paul Mallchok, the center's general manager, said Convergys already leases almost 10 percent of the former mall's footprint.

"They're a very significant tenant," he said.

Wendy Matchett, site leader for the Convergys contact center in Chattanooga, said in a statement that the workers will handle inbound customer service sales calls.

"Potential employees must have exemplary customer service skills, computer literacy and some sales experience," she said.

Convergys spokeswoman Brooke Beiting declined to give the starting wages, but said they'll be competitive within the industry.

"We provide very extensive training -- top-of-the-line training," she said.

Beiting said Convergys also has a work-from-home program in the area.

Charles Wood, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce's vice president of economic development, said the Convergys jobs help keep the local economy diverse as the area also grows more manufacturing slots.

"Convergys has expanded several times in recent years, and Chattanooga continues to provide back-office operations like this one, with an excellent pool of customer care representatives and financial services employees," he said.

No local incentives were offered to Convergys, according to the Chamber.

Convergys worldwide has nearly 75,000 employees, Matchett said. Earlier this week, the company reported first-quarter net income of $30 million on revenue of $494 million.

In addition to Convergys and Engineered Floors, Goodman Manufacturing plans to add 200 people in Dayton, Tenn.; Viam Manufacturing will create about 75 jobs in Tullahoma, Tenn.; and Alcoa some 200 near Knoxville.

VW, however, announced last month that it is cutting about 500 jobs.

Contact Mike Pare at mpare@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6318.

about Mike Pare...

Mike Pare, the deputy Business editor at the Chattanooga Times Free Press, has worked at the paper for 27 years. In addition to editing, Mike also writes Business stories and covers Volkswagen, economic development and manufacturing in Chattanooga and the surrounding area. In the past he also has covered higher education. Mike, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Florida Atlantic University. he worked at the Rome News-Tribune before ...

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