Michaud and Levesque Bring More Call Center Jobs to Maine
March 19, 2012
U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, D-Maine, and Jason Levesque met at his Argo Marketing Group call center in Pittsfield. The meeting was to discuss coming legislation in Congress about keeping call center jobs slipping out from the country and bringing back more such jobs.
“Jason invited me to tour the facility and see what’s happening here,” said the 2nd District congressman. “Congress will do anything we can do to bring the jobs that are overseas or offshore back onshore.”
However, in the past, Levesque, a Republican, stood unsuccessfully against Michaud for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010.
“That was a very spirited campaign the last time around,” said Michaud. “I was very pleased that he reached out to me as far as that legislation that was introduced and offered to help on the bill.”
The bill is called the United States Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act. It is meant to dissuade companies from moving call centers to different countries by affecting their eligibility for federal grants and loans. The bill needs call center to relocate outside the U.S. to notify the Secretary of Labor 120 days before doing so or face a $10,000 fine.
“I don’t think we should be using taxpayer dollars for contracts with federal agencies for call centers that are overseas,” said Michaud. “The more we can focus on bringing those jobs back to the U.S., the better off I think we all will be.”
Levesque expanded his Argo Marketing Group to Pittsfield at the beginning of the year. This was after three months, Global Contact Services, another call center, laid off 65 employees and left the building. Argo employees receive customer service calls and also make sales for various clients.
“This is very unfortunate. It’s been a very good center for us,” said George Simons, vice president of marketing for Global Contact Services. “We were excited to be in there. We had a good experience up there.”
There are 78 workers in the Pittsfield facility and Levesque said his company plans to add 20-30 more positions within the next 30 days. He will also add 10-15 workers for his Lewiston facility. Pittsfield had doubled the size of his business, started in 2003.
“It was a huge risk. It’s probably the riskiest thing I’ve ever done other than running against Mike Michaud for Congress in 2010,” said Levesque.
Levesque had presented Michaud with a couple of posters from his 2010 campaign and asked Michaud to sign one of them.
Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli
3-Minute inContact Tour
Transform your customer care. Watch our product and company overview.
Every day contact centers handle millions of customer interactions via phone, web, email, SMS, web chat and social media.
Related content you may also be interested in…