Call centre jobs in Plaster Rock

I have to admit some confliction about this. 50 more call centre jobs – in Plaster Rock – $9,500 per job government funding ($7.5k per job in a ‘forgiveable loan’ – which means you don’t have to pay if you maintain the jobs and $100k for the building renovations).

On the one hand, they are low paying jobs. They don’t announce the wages anymore but if we follow precedent they will be between $9-$10/hour. If anyone knows the actual wage, please let me know because the media doesn’t report it and the government certainly doesn’t report it.

So you pay out $475,000 to get these jobs and your ROI from income taxes paid on these jobs will likely never give you payback.

On the other hand, this might be the best news the village has seen in decades (not including that world pond hockey thing).

So, in the absence of any real alternative, who am I to complain? If the mayor wants the jobs, if the town needs the jobs, I won’t complain.

But I still think there must be a better way because New Brunswick will a) never reach self sufficiency if we don’t attract jobs that pay taxes (or companies that pay corporate taxes but I would think that VAS doesn’t pay any corporate tax here) and b) I am just not sure that these jobs will keep our young people in the province and in our smaller towns and villages.

Here’s a thought. Just a thought. If we have figured out a way to convince a Chicago company to do customer service call taking from 15 rural NB communities, maybe we can convince a Chicago company to put video game development studios in 15 rural communities. Network them together into a hub of animation development. Pay the workers $40-$80k per year and then train people like the dickens on how to be animators.

I just think the model doesn’t have to be solely based on cheap labour anymore. Maybe if we invested that $9,500/job – these Plaster Rockians could become computer animators.

Just rambling now.


P.S. – To the whiny bureaucrat that says we could never attract animation firms to rural NB, that’s what they said about Virtual Agent Services too. I know because I worked with Bob Camastro out of Chicago to bring VAS here. I heard that crap then too.