Call centre proposed for Alberni Valley

Resident envisions a 100-seat call centre the could create numerous full and part-time jobs for Valley.

Mike Cooke shares his idea of attracting a call centre to the Alberni Valley at Monday’s Port Alberni City Council meeting.

Mike Cooke shares his idea of attracting a call centre to the Alberni Valley at Monday’s Port Alberni City Council meeting.

A former Port Alberni resident says the city is an ideal place to bring in a call centre, and he wants to be the person to facilitate such a proposal.

Mike Cooke, who said he has close to 25 years of experience in the call centre industry in the Caribbean and Canada, brought his proposal for a call centre to city council on Monday night.

Cooke said he envisions a 100-seat call centre that could create numerous full and part-time jobs for local residents.

Should he and his partner find adequate funding, “we’re going to create 50 jobs in year one, 100 by the end of year two and almost 200 by year five,” Cooke said.

“We want to be able to train as many people who want to work.”

Cooke said a state-of-the-art training department would certify agents to the highest standards to be employed in a call centre or a call from home program.

“We want to implement a work from home program so what we’re looking at is people who maybe have never had a job before,” Cooke said.

“We’ve costed everything out as far as 100 seats…we’ve also costed out the first 90 days of actual startup,” Cooke said.

He said he has many contracts already established including both telecommunications and support services, all accredited by the Better Business Bureau, but declined to name any of them.

He told council he has looked at a building, and if he and his partner can get funding, could have the call centre up and running in about 12 weeks.

Coun. Chris Alemany told Cooke he supports the idea of a call centre in the Alberni Valley.

“I’ve seen over the years Nanaimo has built up their call centre, Nordia,” Alemany said. “I know lots of people that have gone through that call centre, whether it’s just a job for a few months or a long-term job there’s lots of good opportunities there.”

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