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.

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0 Responses to Call centre jobs in Plaster Rock

  1. mikel says:

    Did a bureaucrat actually say that? The truth is now that with animation software you don’t need to know how to ‘draw’ at all. A lot of people think you need to be an artist or something. With a mac you can put a picture into icomix and the filter will churn out an animation frame. That’s why I say there needs to be more emphasis on this in schools and a television station. The software and technology is so dirt cheap anybody can do it. THere is no reason that a high school can’t have its own drama program with shows. Yet at the journalism school at STU they are ‘sponsored’ by the CBC and Irving and as a result they don’t even have a public website.

    IF there was an effort at a market in animation, then thats an extra incentive for a company, its doubtful one is going to move into Plaster Rock if there is nothing there, but if a high school was churning out Flash animation-again, the cost is about $300 a student (without sharing) then companies may take a second look. But first there has to be that initiative.

  2. Anonymous says:

    A closer look at energy?

    It is depressing that 20 years later, NB economic development strategy is still coasting on the foresight of a progressive telco with the autonomy, intelligence and risk adversion necessary to create a leading edge infrastructure and a government with enough sense to draw on the scarce competitive advantages we had (bilingual workforce, relatively low cost and abundant labour to bundle into a nice marketing package. Also key was the focus, consistent message and assertive (sometinmes referred to as aggressive) marketing starting with our premier. [Reality check: when was the last time the Globe and Mail featured NB’s premier and accused him of raiding jobs and being overly aggressive in pursing business for the province?]

    Most of us are longing for the return to sensible strategy, drawing on some competitive advantage, focus, consistent message and assertive (bordering aggressive) marketing. Well, cheap labour is gone, our telco is destroyed (perhaps NB should sue Aliant rather than the tobacco companies)and our in-fighting, duplication and redundancy is reaching new lows.

    We need a government with the confidence, courage and commitment to identify an economic development strategy worth focusing on and relentlessly pursue it. With our progressive telco gone, perhaps we should focus on our power utility. We were an early adopter of nuclear, early to refurbish, early to look at next generation CANDU,early to adopt LNG, and we have one of the most modern refineries and maybe a second. Perhaps energy could be the catayst for economic development. Maybe we could develop and export expertise through our engineering, construction and research capabilities. It is at least worth talking about and I think a better bet than some of the foolish demands on government support such as convention center funding, Caisee bail outs, yarn bailouts and tourist information booths.

  3. Leisure Society says:

    Here’s a problem with your optimistic view of the global economy:

    1. They try to keep the higher paying jobs like engineer or computer game designer in their own country, to make it harder for their sheeple to complain.

    2. If they wanted to outsource these jobs, why not do it in India, where they can pay even less and the technical ability is also fairly high?

    These jobs are worse than the fisheries – at least the fish took a while to disappear. When these call centers move onto the next cheapest English speaking rung of the information superhighway, it’s going to hurt (mostly our pride) pretty quickly.

    Who knows – Maritimers might succeed in maintaining the favor of the globalists through our charm and hard-work. The principles of modern day capitalism doesn’t seem to support this, but we’ll see.

    In the long run, under our current regime, why not just hand the transfer payments straight to Irving and have them distribute things as they will?