Atelka hiring 200 English-speaking workers; job fair Saturday

Cornwall Mayor Leslie O'Shaughnessy, center, is presented with a plaque from Atelka CEO Tom Loberto, left, and President Jeanine Giorgi, right. The in-bound call center announced Aug. 21, 2015 it will be adding 200 English-speaking positions to its Cornwall, Ont. operations to meet the need for a new contract. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – Cornwall’s growing in-bound call center will be adding another 200 full-time positions to its workforce in the coming weeks.

Company officials announced Friday morning they had successfully won a bid to secure a client from another firm. Their existing client has also given the company more work.

Roughly 50 people were at the Tollgate Road East location for the announcement, including Cornwall Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy, MP Guy Lauzon, MPP Jim McDonell and Atelka President Jeanine Giorgi.

Citing the sensitivity of the transaction, Atelka CEO Tom Loberto could not say who the new client is, but told the audience it was a “great, recognizable household brand.”

“Often when companies such as us win the award, it’s either coming from the client or coming from a company…a competitor of ours. We’ve been fortunate enough to take it away from someone else in another part of the country and we’re very proud of that,” Loberto said. The CEO said they were among 16 companies bidding on the contract that had expired at another firm.

As for more work from the existing client, “when a company makes a critical decision to give us work it’s largely done on the efforts of our employees…they’ve seen how well we perform…and they award us with additional work,” Loberto told the audience.

The 200 jobs will be English speaking only. Loberto explained the French component for the new client will be handled by its call centers in Quebec.

Atelka has nine call centers – five in Quebec, two in Ontario (Cornwall and Sarnia) and one each in New Brunswick and P.E.I.

The positions will be at a “competitive” market rate depending on position – above minimum wage – and will include benefits after three months and paid training.

There is still a need for bilingual staff in Cornwall, Loberto said, and encouraged those people to apply as well.

The call center at 10 Tollgate Road East is going through some significant renovations, such as adding classrooms, training rooms and walls, to get ready for the new client. The Cornwall location runs from 8 a.m. until 11 p.m. and Loberto said, long term, there could be the option to expand to a 24/7 operation.

Montreal-based Atelka started its Cornwall operations in 2013 with 155 employees.

“The new jobs will have an immediate, positive impact in the community and serves to further diversify the local economy,” Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy said. The mayor said it wasn’t only location and infrastructure but the “quality and experience of our people.”

O’Shaughnessy was presented with a plaque to commemorate the event.

“What a vote of confidence this announcement is…a vote of confidence for the City of Cornwall but also for the company called Atelka,” MP Guy Lauzon said.

“We are very proud to see the expansion…we know that it’s a challenge to be in business these days so we’re glad in your vote of confidence that you’ve chosen to expand in Ontario,” MPP Jim McDonell said.

If you’re looking to get one of the positions, you will have to get your resume together in short order.

Atelka will start filling those positions with a job fair tomorrow (Saturday) from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. at the Benson Center.

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