Originally created 07/12/97

DialAmerica to bring 225 jobs to North Augusta



A second telemarketing firm is opening shop in the Augusta area in a three month period, this time bringing an estimated 200 part-time jobs and 25 full-time ones.

DialAmerica Marketing, the nation's largest privately held outbound telemarketer, begins its service Monday from a 6,300-square-foot facility in North Augusta.

FutureCall Telemarketing West began placing calls in June from its facility on Stevens Creek Road in Augusta. It plans to hire 1,000 full-time workers by the end of 1997.

DialAmerica Branch Manager Bob Barbati said it was a fluke that both ended up in the same area. He said Southern workers have been as productive as any of the 50 other company centers across the country.

DialAmerica already has calling centers in Atlanta, Athens, Charleston and Greenville, S.C.

It is a $200-million-a-year company based in Mahwah, N.J.

"There is a strong need for income and hours here," Mr. Barbati said. An ad placed six months ago to recruit callers demonstrated the availability of labor, he said.

Layoffs in recent years from the Savannah River Site left the Augusta area with some of the highest number of unemployed in Georgia and South Carolina. Local leaders have sought to attract employers from varied industries.

"Absolutely, it's good news," said Chuck Smith, chairman of the Greater North Augusta Chamber of Commerce. "It's more diversification in the work force."

Having two calling centers in the area could increase the total pool of experienced telephone workers; both companies, which hire inexperienced people, train their own employees.

DialAmerica will begin making calls Monday or Tuesday afternoon with 10 callers. They will earn a guaranteed base wage of $6 per hour, but with sales commissions they could earn up to $14 per hour, Mr. Barbati said.

Callers, working 16 to 25 hours per week, will call customers to sell magazines, credit cards, cable television and telephone services offered by large, national companies. DialAmerica only works with companies that need at least 10,000 phone hours per month, according to Mr. Barbati, so it is not likely to handle many local accounts.

Nationally, DialAmerica's 7,000 callers place 250 million calls annually. It began in 1957 as the circulation sales arm of Time Inc. to sell Life magazine subscriptions.

The company announced it invested $500,000 in the 84 workstations at the North Augusta facility. It is in the Business Technology Center at 802 E. Martintown Road.

It also announced that is has donated nearly $1 million to the South Carolina Special Olympics.