Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

State of Maine Sees Growth in Contact Center Business

November 04, 2013

When we think of places where call centers are booming, most of us would think of India, the Philippines, Malaysia or other far-flung locations. Nearer shore, Central America and the Caribbean are popular call center outsourcing spots as well. We don’t often think of Maine.

But Maine is becoming something of a hot bed of call centers, according to a recent article in the Bangor Daily News. Growth in the sector in Maine appears to be soaring. The state added nearly 2,000 jobs over the past five years, a review of employment data from the Maine and U.S. Departments of Labor show.

Once thought of as a low-wages affair only for desperate people, improving salaries in the call center industry are attracting more people who approach the contact center as a career. (This is good news for the call center industry: people who value their jobs as a career stay longer and simply make better agents.)

National labor data shows the average annual pay for call center workers is $30,930 — slightly more than the average of $29,410 for those working in the gambling industry. The call center industry in Maine paid $152 million in wages in 2012, up from $69 million in 2007, reports the Bangor Daily News. Full-time contact center jobs often come with highly sought after benefit packages, as well. And for individuals looking for part time work or flexible hours, the nature of contact center work can usually provide it. It can also provide work-at-home opportunities.

The most notable new contact center in the state will be the new contact center being built by Argo Marketing Group in Lewiston. The $2.4 million facility, which will employ 250 agents, will be located in a renovated building that was formerly an eyesore. It will feature a rooftop patio, an employee-only brew pub and a work space dominated by a 6,000-gallon saltwater aquarium. The facility is expected to open late this year.

While some officials in Maine have scoffed at call center jobs, calling them low-paying and not the kind of jobs the people of Maine need, Argo CEO Jason Levesque told the Bangor Daily News that these attitudes aren’t helpful, and don’t apply to his company, which is working to create new and better jobs in the call center sector.

Edited by Alisen Downey