Thursday, June 20, 2024

New jobs coming to Bossier through call centers

by BIZ. Staff

Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards and YoungWillliams PC President Rob Wells announced the company will create 240 direct jobs and make a $4.1 million capital investment through new call centers in Bossier City and Baton Rouge.

YoungWilliams will provide support for social services after reaching an agreement with the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services to operate call centers for a five-year period. Call center functions for DCFS previously were outsourced to a company operating in Florida and California.

For the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services, the LAHelpU call centers field inquiries about child support enforcement, fraud and recovery, and federal assistance programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs or SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) and the Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program, known as FITAP, which provides cash assistance to low-income families with children. About 500,000 calls are placed each month to the call centers, and customer service representatives interact with about 125,000 of those calls per month. The system was established when the state closed some of its assistance offices as a cost-saving measure in 2012.

Other departments and political subdivisions of the state may contract with YoungWilliams, based upon the Office of State Procurement’s acceptance of a YoungWilliams proposal to provide call center operations.

YoungWilliams will open its initial office in Bossier City by March.

Future contracts with other state agencies and political subdivisions are expected to build the Mississippi-based company’s workload and lead to the opening of a Baton Rouge site later in 2019.

“These Louisiana call centers provide important services for many of our state’s vulnerable citizens,” Gov. Edwards said. “As we build on the efforts of state government to serve our citizens in the most effective and responsible manner, we applaud the creation of 240 new private-sector jobs in Louisiana by YoungWilliams. The company’s work will provide an economic boost in Bossier City and Baton Rouge as we address the critical needs of our population.”

YoungWilliams will create 80 new direct jobs in Bossier City and 160 new direct jobs in Baton Rouge, at an average annual salary of $27,000, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in 40 new indirect jobs for Bossier Parish and the Northwest Region, and 80 new indirect jobs for East Baton Rouge Parish and the Capital Region, for a total of 360 new jobs in the state.

“Our company does this in 11 states and I can’t say enough good about our experience thus far in Louisiana,” Wells said. “The procurement process, talent pools, available contractors, real estate, support from the Louisiana Economic Development office and the people in the departments we are working with couldn’t have been better or more professional. This is going to be a great partnership.”

In Bossier City, YoungWilliams will make a $1.5 million capital investment at its location within the Louisiana Boardwalk Outlets along the Red River. Operations there are expected to begin in March 2019.

“I congratulate and thank YoungWilliams for choosing Bossier City as a location for its operations,” Bossier City Mayor Lorenz Walker said. “It’s always exciting to see a continued expansion of employment opportunities here in Bossier City. I also applaud Gov. Edwards, LED and the Greater Bossier Economic Development Foundation for their work in assisting YoungWilliams with bringing these additional jobs to our city.”

“The Greater Bossier Economic Development Foundation board of directors congratulates the Louisiana Boardwalk Outlets and welcomes YoungWilliams to Bossier City,” foundation board Chairman Ian McElroy said. “Bossier is an attractive place to do business in Northwest Louisiana, due to its longstanding track record of investing in itself. These efforts can be seen through the funding of iconic capital projects, such as the Louisiana Boardwalk Outlets. This commercial development has not only attracted retailers and restaurants but also serves the needs of industry by providing a strategic location for businesses. Our community’s progressive and forward-thinking leadership has once again helped to position Bossier to be competitive in securing new jobs and investment.”

“A local partner first brought the project with YoungWilliams to North Louisiana Economic Partnership during the first quarter of 2018,” NLEP President Scott Martinez said. “We’re very pleased YoungWilliams chose a location in North Louisiana and congratulate Bossier for attracting this quality company to the Louisiana Boardwalk.”

To secure the project, the State of Louisiana offered a competitive incentive package that includes the comprehensive workforce solutions of LED FastStart ®, the nation’s No. 1 state workforce training program. The company also is expected to utilize the state’s Enterprise Zone Program.

YoungWilliams will make a $2.6 million capital investment in a future Baton Rouge facility. Location details will be announced at a later date, with operations in the Capital Region expected to begin in the second quarter of 2019.

“YoungWilliams’ mission is one we are proud to support in East Baton Rouge Parish,” East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome said. “My administration looks forward to supporting the company’s hiring goals, and to the impact it will have on child support across the state.”

“We are excited to welcome YoungWilliams to Baton Rouge,” Baton Rouge Area Chamber President and CEO Adam Knapp said. “Through a collaborative effort at the local level and across multiple state agencies, this project will bring 160 new jobs to our area in support of the growing health services sector.”

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