Overstock.com's new Grays Harbor customer care center to bring jobs

by: Kevin McCarty Updated:

Overstock.com, an online discount retailer, announced that they'll hire 150 people for a call center at the Satsop Business Park, which sits in the shadow of the long defunct Washington Public Power Supply System's nuclear power plant.

Hiring will begin just after Jan. 1 of 2017. That’s good news in a county hit hard by the great recession.

“Oh I think it’s great,” said Doug Weld, of Elma. “There’s a lot of people out of work around here.”

Ralph Koal agreed, adding, “Yeah, it means a lot.”

The offices that will house the call center are already wired for business.  There have been two previous call centers in the building, but no one has used the space since 2004, as Grays Harbor struggled economically.

“In terms of employment, it will definitely be the largest client we have at the business par,” said Alissa Shay, manager of business development.

In a news release, Overstock.com's senior vice president Carter Lee called the move to Grays Harbor a win-win, saying, “The addition of 150 jobs will provide a significant boost to the local economy."

Governor Jay Inslee tweeted his congratulations after the announcement Thursday morning.

 

 

The call center jobs will be entry-level for the most part, paying minimum wage and including benefits.  

Grays Harbor has an unemployment rate of nearly eight and a half percent,  the third highest in the state.

Some say that in this county of just over 71,000, the poor economic tide seems to be turning.

“Starting to slowly happen and recover,” said Koal, emphasizing the word slowly. “This is the last part of the state to ever have it happen.”

Overstock.com plans to begin hiring and training about 50 employees in early January. The call center is expected to be up and running by May 2017.

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