Being good at Spanish results in up to 1000 more jobs for Las Vegas

Saturday, February 07, 2009

El extremo sur de Las Vegas Strip en 2003.

Further proof that a multilingual workforce results in more opportunities for cities and regions as a whole:
Up to 1,000 new jobs will be heading to Las Vegas thanks to a tentative agreement reached between TELUS and the city of Las Vegas Redevelopment Agency.

TELUS will operate a new Las Vegas-based call center, which will enable the company to add Spanish-language support to its multicity call center operations and business process outsourcing services.

I had no idea TELUS had gotten so big; apparently it's now in the Philippines and even Korea where I am too. I used to work there from time to time when living in Calgary, and I do remember the operators fluent in French getting paid quite a bit more than others back then too.

The article continues with why Las Vegas was chosen over other locations:
TELUS International President Jeff Puritt cited a number of factors that convinced company executives to select Las Vegas as the location for its newest call center operation. "Not only does the community have a wealth of skilled individuals fluent in both Spanish and English, but it is one of the United States' fastest-growing communities with a strong labor force and business-friendly environment," Puritt said.


The city of Las Vegas Redevelopment Agency will provide an incentive of $300,000 annually for five years to TELUS, to be used for equipment and tenant improvements to the building.

That's something for local and state/provincial governments to think about when deciding on education and language policy. Sometimes in the US it's easy to forget that Spanish isn't just a language of immigrants but also a few dozen countries outside as well, just as how it's easy to forget within Canada that French isn't just the language spoken within Quebec. If Canada were more bilingual overall I could see something like a call centre being set up in Vancouver to take advantage of the time difference between it and Quebec, as once people in Quebec get off work there's no time zone with a large amount of French speakers until you get to New Caledonia, eight hours away. For all I know there are already French call centres in Vancouver but the larger the population the easier it is to find more skilled workers, as the article suggests.

Maybe I'll end this with a question: what are call centres (centres d'appel) like for French? I see there's an ad here for a call centre in Morocco in French, which makes sense as a place to outsource. What about in other time zones?


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