Dell to launch contact centre in Edmonton

Dell Inc. is set to open a customer care centre in Edmonton, which will serve as a point of contact for customers in both Canada and the U.S., the company announced Monday.

While the exact location of the site is still under wraps, Dell said it expects to hire approximately 500 Edmonton residents and plans to work with the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) to recruit and train staff. Training for employees will begin in September and Dell hopes the centre will be operational in November.

According to a spokesperson from the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation, it was through the efforts of the Government of Canada’s Federal Department of International Trade that Dell became interested in the Canadian landscape as a potential locale for a customer care centre. It was then through the Alberta Economic Development Corporation that Dell became interested in the province of Alberta specifically, he added.

While there was some competition within the province of Alberta between its major centres, the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC) used its student data to clinch the deal. Greater Edmonton currently has approximately 167,000 people enrolled in post-secondary education and continuing education.

Dell is looking to hire individuals with a degree or diploma in computing science. These employees will be responsible for providing technical support to Dell’s preferred clients in Canada and the U.S.

“Obviously these things are really important,” said Allan Scott, president and CEO of the EEDC. “These are 500 new skilled high-tech-oriented jobs. We are working to try and diversify our economy here in the greater Edmonton region and this is a great addition. We estimate that the 500 jobs will create more than $650 million of economic impact over the net 20 years. It signals Edmonton’s growing importance as a knowledge-based centre.”

“It [will not be] a traditional call centre,” said Ken McMullen, director of business attraction for the EEDC. “These [employees will be] educated with degrees, providing technical support and network support to those institutions, companies, et cetera, that have Dell networks.”

The customer service centre will open in a temporary building this fall and will move to a permanent location by 2006.

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