August 28, 2013

Wilton call center expansion to create 200 new jobs

By Kaitlin Schroeder kschroeder@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

Barclaycard is expanding its credit card business operations in Wilton, and expects to bring 100 new jobs to its call center in the town by the end of the year and another 100 next year.

BY THE NUMBERS

Barclaycard is the 12th largest employer in Franklin County.

Top employers in the county, and the number of people they employ:

Verso Paper Corp. 1,001–1,500

Franklin Memorial Hospital 501–1000

Sugarloaf Mountain Corp. up to 500

Walmart up to 500

Jardens Plastic Solutions up to 500

Hannaford up to 500

LEAP up to 500

North Country Association up to 500

Sykes Enterprises up to 500

Sandy River Center up to 500

Care & Comfort up to 500

Barclays up to 500

Franklin Savings Bank up to 500

Tranten's Family Shurfine up to 500

Maine Wood Turning up to 500

 

POPULATION FACTS

The population of Wilton is 4,116.

The population of Farmington is 7,760.

Source: 2010 U.S. Census

The civilian labor force for Franklin County is 14,182.

12,903 are employed

1,279 are unemployed

Franklin County unemployment rate: 9.4 percent

State unemployment rate: 6.9 percent

Source: Maine Department of Labor, not seasonally adjusted

Barclaycard officials announced the expansion of the company's customer service call center Tuesday in the State House, accompanied by Gov. Paul LePage.

The company's Wilton call center will employ 250 workers by the end of the year with the new jobs.

The company will hire immediately for the full-time jobs, which come with benefits such as health and dental insurance, according to the Associated Press.

Barclaycard is the 12th largest private employer in Franklin County, according to the Maine Department of Labor.

Wilton Town Manager Rhonda Irish said Barclaycard, along with the Mt. Blue School District, is one of the largest employers in the area and will be the largest employer in town after it reaches 350 employees.

The population of Wilton is 4,116 and nearby Farmington 7,760, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.

"This is really a great thing for the Franklin County region to have a company wanting to invest and expand," she said.

There were 14,182 people in the civilian labor force in Franklin County in July, the most recent statistics available from the Maine Department of Labor. The numbers, which aren't seasonally adjusted, showed that 12,903 were employed and 1,279 were unemployed.

Irish said the town not only gets an economic benefit from the large employer, but it has benefited from charity work sponsored by Barclaycard over the past five years. Its employees have helped with projects including fundraising for improvements to the local park, working with the elementary schools and painting downtown buildings.

The company was recognized with the Large Business of the Year award by the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce in November. Chamber President Scott Landry said at the time that Barclaycard was given the award not only for employing a large number of local people, but for investing time and money into improving the town and working with area nonprofit groups.

In 2009, the business was named one of the Retail Center of Excellence's Best Places to Work in Maine.

Employees at the center, which operates in the Nichols-Bass Business & Technology Center at 128 Weld Road, provide customer support for Barclaycards credit card holders and its partners.

LePage said the state government still has to do more to attract new businesses, such as lower taxes and eliminate red tape, according to the Associated Press.

Barclaycard, the credit-card business of Barclaycard PLC in the United States, opened in Wilton in 2008 with 50 employees. Jobs at the time started at $26,000 with full health, dental and retirement benefits.

Franklin County has the third highest unemployment rate in the state, at 9.4 percent, down from 9.9 percent this time last year, according to the Maine Department of Labor.

The state's unemployment rate was 6.9 percent as of July. The national rate was 7.4.

Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252
kschroeder@mainetoday.com

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