Dan Hust | Democrat
The former Becton-Dickinson medical supply manufacturing plant in Hancock is set to become a call center employing up to 400 people within the next two years. Its proximity to Sullivan County could mean impacts on and benefits to local residents.
Hancock lands major call center
Story by Dan Hust
HANCOCK December 6, 2013 A call center looking to employ 400 people is slated to be sited next year just across Sullivan County’s border at a former factory off Route 97 in the Village of Hancock.
Delaware County announced this week that it had received a grant from the New York State Office of Community Renewal to attract Data Control Group LLC (DCG), a subsidiary of corporate services giant Qualfon, to Hancock.
DCG plans to make a $2.8 million investment to renovate a portion of the long-vacant Becton-Dickinson manufacturing plant to become a call center and back office operation.
The project will create an estimated 400 new full-time jobs over the next two years, officials said.
Delaware County and Town of Hancock leaders predicted the potential economic impacts will be huge and considering the facility’s proximity to Sullivan County (a 15-minute drive from Long Eddy), those impacts could ripple into local towns as well.
That region of the Upper Delaware River Valley is sparsely settled and has a dearth of living-wage jobs, compounded by the loss of several large employers.
Becton-Dickinson shuttered its medical supply operations located next to the confluence of the Delaware River’s east and west branches in 2002 and moved to Mexico.
“It’s been approximately 10 years since Becton-Dickinson left their facility in Hancock, and the void of not having that employment base had a very negative impact on our community and small businesses,” stated Hancock Town Supervisor Sam Rowe. “Bringing these jobs to Hancock is so very important to the fiber of our community and surrounding area, it’s very difficult to put into words. This is a new beginning for our area, and we are anxious to begin the revitalization”.
Qualfon, a privately held corporation, is a global business process outsourcing (BPO) provider offering contact center and back-office services which, due to increasing demand for U.S.-based customer service and data support operations, acquired Data Control Group this past winter.
DCG was a U.S.-based back office and call center operation with locations in Deposit (near Hancock) and Shelbyville, Kentucky.
Delaware County put together an incentive package that made it competitive with other potential locations, including a crucial $600,000 grant from the NYS Office of Community Renewal that will help pay for the purchase and installation of furnishings and equipment.
“Congressman Chris Gibson’s office provided critical support in the county’s efforts to put an incentive package together to attract DCG to the area,” said James Thomson, Chairman of the Delaware County Industrial Development Agency, which will oversee the project and administration of the financial assistance.
Thomson added, “This project will help to stimulate new investment within the village and promote the revitalization of its downtown commercial district. The creation of 400 new full-time jobs, with company-provided health insurance benefits, will provide a stable foundation upon which the community can continue to rebuild its economy.”
Working with the Chenango-Delaware-Otsego Workforce Investment Board, DCG said it plans to provide comprehensive in-house and educational training to all employees so that local residents with a high school diploma or equivalency degree will qualify for the majority of the jobs to be created.
It will also offer all employees health insurance benefits, including vision and dental, 401k options and, possibly, financial assistance with childcare.
Peter Lutz, Senior Vice President of Qualfon, remarked, “We’re very excited by this announcement, and we look forward to becoming part of the community of Hancock and setting down roots for a long and productive relationship.”