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PAEDC oks at-home call center service

Some Port Arthur residents may soon get a chance to work from home.

This week the Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors approved entering into an on the job training agreement with Conduent — the world’s largest business process services company, according to their website.

Conduent is a publicly traded company that launched in January.

If everything goes off without a hitch, training may start in mid-March, pending Port Arthur City Council approval.

Conduent agreed to hire Port Arthur trainees while the company will be reimbursed at 50 percent of the hourly rate not to exceed $840 per trainee.

In addition to hiring supervisors and managers, Conduent’s goal is to hire up to 200 trainees to work at a call center from home. Training will last four weeks for 160 hours and the trainees will be paid $10.50 an hour for a total cost of $168,000.

Richard Wycoff, a PAEDC director, said he was all for a call center since Port Arthur has the human capital to do so.

The board of directors also approved a letter of intent for an economic incentive by Heniff Transportation Systems, LLC.

The company transports bulk liquid chemicals and they have outgrown their space in Nederland.

Edward Zivmont, regional director of business development with Heniff, said the Port Arthur Business Park on West Port Arthur Road would be the perfect place. They would need more than 10 acres of land. It is estimated it will cost $4 million to construct the terminal. Heniff’s proposed grant request is $1.6 million.

Their goal is to hire more than 100 drivers in the area.

Lastly, the board approved going with a two-way video intercom system for security purposes for the PAEDC building, but not before a lengthy discussion ensued.

Floyd Batiste, executive director for the PAEDC, said panic alarms at staff’s desks would be adequate and less expensive protection than the video system. He added that the PAEDC building is a public facility, and not a private one and staff wouldn’t have the time to monitor everyone who comes in.

President Ingrid West Holmes said with the video system, visitors will be calling only the people they intend to visit and they can be interviewed at the front entrance before they are admitted.

Ultimately, the board decided to go with the video system with Wycoff and Director Christy DeRouen voting no.

 

David Ball: 409-721-2427