New Call Center To Bring Jobs To Athens

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A call center that is expected to have 100 jobs — and potentially more — is coming to Athens.

Tom Parfitt and Brent Hayes, owners of The Market on State, confirmed Wednesday that they have leased space in the East State Street mall to a company called Residential Programs Inc. for operation of a call center.

Rob Bayer, sales and operations manager for the company, said that initially about 100 employees will be hired.

“Over time our goal is to grow to 150, maybe more,” Bayer said.

It will be a mix of part-time and full-time jobs, he said.

Bayer said the center will primarily handle incoming customer service calls for clients, although there also will be some outgoing sales calls. He said there will be a day shift, and a night shift.

“We haven’t determined wages yet,” Bayer said, but explained there will be a base salary plus opportunities for commissions and bonuses based on performance.

He said potential employees must have basic typing skills and be able to speak clearly and confidently. There will be a training program. People interested in submitting resumes can do so by email to

Hiring is expected to start Sept. 1, with the call center going into operation by the end of September or early October, depending on when remodeling of the space is complete.

Parfitt said the work will be done by local contractors, and preliminary work could begin as early as next week. Permits still need to be obtained.

Parfitt said 7,500 square feet of space in the northeast corner of the mall was leased to Residential Programs Inc. Bayer said it is a five-year lease with an option to extend it.

According to Parfitt, the deal has been three or four months in the making.

Hayes said that no tax breaks or other government incentives are involved.

“It’s all self-funded,” Hayes said.

Addition of the call center leaves about 25,000-30,000 square feet of unleased space in the 280,000-square-foot mall, according to Parfitt.

Earlier this year, the mall leased space to the Deputy Registrar of Motor Vehicles and Athens County Title Office, which Parfitt said has been successul in bringing people into the mall who also shop at the stores. Parfitt said the employees of the call center should also bring business to East State Street.