Major employer opens shop in Owensboro


Alorica Inc. has already opened its new customer service center at 234 Frederica St., Ken Muche, the company's director of global public relations, said Monday -- even though construction continues on the building's exterior.

"They made their first calls last week," said Helen Mountjoy, interim president of the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corp. "They are here and they're doing what they said they would do."

The California-based company is still hiring, Muche said, and will have a "meet and greet" for people interested in working there from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday in the building's lobby.

Muche wouldn't say how many have been hired already, how many more will be hired this year or how many shifts will be working there.

That will be announced at a news conference at 10 a.m. Thursday at the new Alorica Building, he said.

Mountjoy said a representative of Gov. Matt Bevin, Judge-Executive Al Mattingly and Mayor Tom Watson will also speak.

"We no longer call them 'job fairs'," Muche said of Thursday's "meet and greet". "But it's a recruitment event. People can interview us about the company and we can interview them."

The company is looking for "outgoing" people and people who like to help others solve problems, he said.

Some job offers will be made on the spot, Muche said.

The company said earlier that it plans to hire 500 people this year and another 340 within three years.

It said different jobs have different starting pay levels.

A recent Facebook post by the company says customer service representatives start at $10.50 an hour plus monthly bonuses.

"The number of jobs is impressive," Mountjoy said. "They have full-time jobs with benefits. That's a shot in the arm for those who have been unable to find full-time jobs."

Alorica promotes from within, she said.

"This is very positive for the community," Mountjoy said.

Plans earlier called for the customer service center to open in April.

But construction on the former BB&T Building took longer than expected.

Last month, the company's Facebook page said Alorica was moving furniture in on the third floor.

"This will be one of two floors that will house our customer service representatives," the post said.

That floor will seat 336 employees, it added.

Muche said he would update that information on Thursday.

Largest jobs announcement ever

When the announcement was made in September that Alorica had selected Owensboro for the customer service center, Madison Silvert, then EDC president, called it "the single-largest job announcement in the history of Owensboro and Daviess County."

Company officials said that 90 percent of the Owensboro jobs will be full time.

Alorica will be the third-largest private employer in the county -- behind Owensboro Health with 4,125 employees and U.S. Bank Home Mortgage with 2,120.

Ed Ray, assistant city manager, said in November that Alorica will have a $4 billion impact on Owensboro's economy over the next 20 years.

"Initially, they plan to have 840 jobs with a $24 million payroll," he said. "Add 25 percent for benefits and that takes it to $30 million. They have bonuses, so we expect payroll to grow by 3 percent a year."

Ray said, "Over 20 years, that's $775 million in direct spending in the community. We expect an 85 percent growth in the number of jobs over a period of time. That would take the company to around 1,500 jobs in Owensboro. That would equal direct spending of $1.44 billion."

He said, "Most economic analysis shows money changing hands six times in the community. But you get leakage with money spent outside the community and money saved. So we use a 2.8 multiplier for the indirect impact."

That, Ray said, takes the total impact to about $4 billion.

"And that's a conservative estimate," he said.

Work started last week on Bar Louie, the restaurant/bar that will be located on the Alorica Building's first floor.