450 jobs over 3 years expected at new call center in Hickory

Convergys, an Ohio-based business-support company, plans to open a call center in Hickory this fall and hire nearly 450 people over the next three years.

Catawba County commissioners and the Hickory City Council met Wednesday to make the announcement and to approve economic incentives for the $4 million project.

Convergys will renovate a former textile mill on Seventh Street S.E. for the call center, which will take inbound inquiries for telecommunications clients. Company officials said most employees will earn an average hourly wage of $12.56.

The company also has what it calls “customer service support centers” in Charlotte, Jacksonville and Greenville, N.C.

Local economic-development officials say they expect the customer service sector to grow in Catawba County over the next decade.

“It will hopefully help diversify and solidify the economy of this region,” said Gary Laws, vice chairman of the Catawba County Economic Development Commission board of directors.