Major BPO player eyes expansion in GenSan

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GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/15 July) — A major global business process outsourcing industry player is planning to put up a call center facility in this city as part of its expansion, local trade officials said on Friday as they urged colleges and universities to produce graduates ready to join the BPO bandwagon.

Ethel Gumana, National Economic Research and Business Assistance Center – Region 12 division chief, said that Sutherland Global Services has started the recruitment for its manpower pool.

“The company is doing the recruitment at the Mabuhay IT Park,” she said.

Ellorence Cruz, Board of Investments coordinator here, said that Sutherland eyes to hire a minimum of 200 workers to start its operation in the city, dubbed the “Tuna Capital of the Philippines.”

Cruz urged colleges and universities across Southwestern Mindanao to integrate in their curriculum a course that would enhance the skills needed by the industry, among them pronunciation and grammar.

Sutherland is very much willing to share its standard skills system to schools that are open to the idea, she said.

“The decision of Sutherland to finally put up a branch in this city really depends on availability of the talent pool. That’s why we are encouraging the academe to actively join the endeavor by integrating BPO skills in their curriculum,” Cruz said.

Vijaya Nagar, Sutherland Global senior manager for talent recruitment, last month met representatives of academic institutions in the region in a bid to strengthen the BPO industry in the area.

“The academe plays a very important role in providing the needed manpower resources to the BPO industry,” he said in a statement released by the Department of Trade and Industry here.

Nagar has urged them to develop a curriculum that would efficiently prepare graduates for call center work because of the huge potentials of the BPO industry.

Currently, Sutherland operates in six locations in the country namely Makati City, Taguig City, Davao City, Tarlac City, Clark Field in Pampanga, and Pili in Camarines Sur.

Nagar said they have a manpower pool of 13,104 individuals, and that the company’s presence in the provincial areas enhanced the economic activities.

The Philippine Economic Zone Authority recently named Sutherland Global as the “2011 Outstanding Employer,” the third time for the company to win it.

The award, which was given in cooperation with the Philippine Ecozones Association, recognizes companies “that generated the most number of jobs, held high regard for the welfare of its workers, and maintained harmony between labor and management.”

Sutherland Global is a multi-national technology-enabled BPO services firm established in 1986, with headquarters in Ronchester, New York.

It employs more than 30,000 professionals across 33 global delivery centers and business operations located in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, India, the Philippines, the United Arab Emirates, Bulgaria, Egypt, and the United Kingdom.

In the Philippines, Sutherland set up its first facility in mid-2005, starting with reportedly just 150 employees. (Bong Sarmiento/MindaNews)

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