MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Four months ago, officials with Frontier Communications would call their new call center a "skeleton" of what it is today.
"There wasn't a whole lot, it was pretty much empty," Said Lynn Holmgren, a national representative with Frontier Communications. "There were a few employees here. It was very old and had been a bit rundown from the previous company so we looked at it as a great opportunity and we literally gutted the whole place."
Holmgren said Frontier Communications looked at several locations for expansion, but something about the Grand Strand stuck out.
"The reason we chose Myrtle Beach was because the great employees we saw when we visited locations," Said Holmgren. "It's very hard to actually train people to be friendly, collegial, to really drive for customer care."
The terms of the incentive agreement from Horry County asked Frontier to create 110 new jobs for this new call center, and when they cut the ribbon on Wednesday, Oct. 10, Frontier says it had actually hired 116 workers.
In return for the new jobs, Horry County agreed to give the company $250,000 from local incentive funds. Frontier Communications also received $200,000 in capital improvements from the state.
The new call center has 150 new computers and workstations. The Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation says the addition of the 116 employees results in more than $8 million annual revenues that will directly impact to Horry County.
"This is evidence of a diversifying local economy, which is going to help us in the long term," Said Brad Lofton with the MBREDC.
Lofton said Horry County is trying to convince more companies to come to the Grand Strand for business, and to not just view the area as a vacation destination.
"We've got great labor, low cost of business, combine that with the best quality of life in the country and it's a pretty compelling argument for a company to relocate here," Said Lofton.
The Frontier expansion is one of four MBREDC jobs announcements this year bringing an additional 394 to Horry County since the new year rang in.
MBREDC spokeswoman Candace Howell broke those number down, and explains the jobs added are divided among these employers:
Frontier: 110, but hired 116
Native Sons: 79
The MBREDC's goal is to add 500 new jobs, but will not give any specifics about upcoming plans or projects to bring jobs to the area.
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