Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

March 1, 2012

Northland expanding

West Coast service means more jobs here

By Raymond Linex II
Corsicana Daily Sun

Corsicana —

When Northland Communications opened its billing and call center last March, it did so with four employees. Today that number stands at 11, and will soon grow again.

Jim Burgess, local general manager for the internet, cable television and phone provider, said the company plans to expand the current facility at 1500 North Beaton by 700 square feet in the coming months as it begins to add West Coast service to its duties.

The call center already handles incoming billing and technical support calls for Northland’s five Texas markets: Corsicana, Flint (near Tyler), Marble Falls, Mexia and New Caney. Each one of those areas has smaller markets under them, as Burgess also oversees operations at Cedar Creek Lake, Kaufman and Hillsboro.

“Instead of building a new call center out (on the West Coast), they have decided to roll it into here,” Burgess said. “It’s been very successful here.”

Once completed, the new area will house up to four additional full-time and four additional part-time employees. The department could eventually have 15 to 18 full-time employees, and four to six part-time, Burgess said.

That’s more than a 400 percent increase from the call center’s start last spring. Northland employees about 15 other employees besides the call center, Burgess said.

The building has already undergone a number of changes in the last year, with the front office now donning Northland green walls and three big screens where customers can view product lines.

The call center side will be expanded out 20 feet to accommodate the new work stations, Burgess said.

Northland has operations in eight states, and is based in Seattle. It once owned KAND, which left for its current South Main Street location in 2009. Burgess said the call center idea for Corsicana had already been discussed before that separation.

“That was the perfect time to make it happen,” he said.

Construction hasn’t started, but will in March. Once it ends, the new employees will be added as new systems, most likely from Washington state, and possibly Idaho, start rolling in, Burgess said.

“This is a positive thing for Corsicana, as far as employment is concerned,” Burgess said.

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Raymond Linex II may be reached by email at rlinex@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “Soundoff” on this story? Email: soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com