Florida-based OneTouch Direct has opened a call center in Orchard Park that could grow to 300 employees.
The company, which works with a number of Fortune 100 clients, opened about two weeks ago and so far has almost 30 employees, said Mark Jones, executive vice president of sales and marketing.
OneTouch hopes to have the facility fully staffed within three to six months, depending on how quickly new employees can be trained, Jones said.
Buffalo Niagara Enterprise, which markets the region, said OneTouch will pour $7.8 million into the operation over a four-year period, when expenses such as training are included. OneTouch is moving into space that was formerly used by another call center at 3065 Union Road, north of Southwestern Boulevard. The employees will handle inbound service and sales calls.
New York State’s package of incentives to support the project includes up to $1.25 million in performance-based Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits.
Tampa-based OneTouch generates more than $53 million in annual sales and has more than 2,000 employees at four call centers in Florida and one in St. Catharines, Ont.
Regional ties apparently helped make Orchard Park’s case for OneTouch’s new center. Two of the company’s leaders – Joe Mole, the co-founder, and Chris Reed, executive vice president of operations and client services – used to live in Western New York, and the Southern Ontario call center provided another link.
“We fly through Buffalo many times a month,” Jones said, adding the company liked the workforce it could tap into in Western New York.
Paul Pfeiffer, a BNE spokesman, said the Orchard Park site gives the company a foothold in the Northeast U.S. to pursue more customers. And he said BNE hears from businesses expanding into the area that “time and time again that the affordability and availability of our workforce” is a decisive factor.
Companies such as OneTouch are also aware of other companies with call center operations in the region, such as GEICO, and the type of productivity they get here, Pfeiffer said.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced the center would have 271 employees, saying Western New York in recent years has begun to emerge as a “hot spot for private sector growth.” Jones said the company is aiming to go even higher than that job projection, to about 300 positions.
OneTouch was founded in 1998 and supports clients in sectors such as wireless and telecommunications, with clients including AT&T and AT&T Wireless, Verizon and Verizon Wireless, Dell and IBM, Jones said.