Startek reopening, 250 jobs coming back to Jonesboro

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – StarTek plans to reopen its doors in Jonesboro after handing pink slips to its entire workforce about four months ago.

Rosemary Hanratty, director of marketing and communications, says the company has entered its final round of negotiations with a client. She says landing this deal will allow the Jonesboro call center to reopen and bring 250 jobs back to the area.

"We would be hiring and are hiring 250 people," Hanratty said, "and it's on an anticipated time frame of having the doors back open late July to early August."

Hanratty broke the welcome news for the Jonesboro economy from her office in Colorado. She says StarTek should announce a final deal with its client any day, which comes months after it laid off more than 200 employees in Jonesboro.

"You know being able to bring back 250 jobs is pretty great," she said, "so we just anticipate that we'll have a formal, formal announcement as soon as the ink is dry, and we will get that out to everyone."

Hanratty says former employees may receive priority once job openings are posted for various positions, including customer care representatives, managers and technical support staff. StarTek handles service calls for other companies, and Hanratty suggests hiring could begin again this week.

"We have really enjoyed being part of the Jonesboro community," she said. "We found it a wonderful place to be. We found the talent pool excellent in Jonesboro, and our management team is stellar at the site. We've managed to keep them intact, so we are very pleased."

The prospect of the jobs returning to town has excited Mayor Harold Perrin, who says the local economy took a hit after the layoffs were announced in February.

"It's just great, great news for Jonesboro," Perrin said. "It just goes to show you if you keep working hard at it, eventually you'll have some fruit out of your hard work."

Startek excused its entire workforce, consisting of approximately 223 employees, in April 2012 after announcing its closure in February 2012. The layoffs were the result of a change in work requirements at the site.

Hanratty told Region 8 News in February that the center's goal was to try to attract a new business within the next few months. She said the center had a very well trained staff and great leadership at the site.

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