© Photo by Colin MacLean/TC Media
Summerside Mayor Bill Martin chatting with Elie Chebli, CEO of IO Solutions. The call centre service company is moving more than 100 jobs into the city over the next two years.
The province has approved the company for a labour rebate
Montreal-based call centre company IO Solutions has struck a deal with the City of Summerside to bring more than 100 jobs to the community.
It involves the city taking over ownership of 54 Central Street (the old Co-op building), renovating it with a $990,000 grant from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and then renting it to IO Solutions. The city is also buying a small nearby parking lot, next to the former Guardian office on Central Street, to provide extra parking for the tenants.
The province has approved the company for a labour rebate for up to 100 positions, through Innovation P.E.I., to the tune of $810,359. The province has also provided $28,000 to the city to help with architectural and design costs for the renovations.
Mayor Bill Martin formally welcomed the company, and its CEO, Elie Chebli, to the city on Thursday.
“It’s just an exciting day. Certainly the best day I’ve had in 16 months,” said Martin, referring to his time in office.
Chebli said the company would start vetting resumes very soon. They have a starting goal of 100 hires, though that number could increase to upwards of 200 within a couple of years.
IO Solutions also has an office in Bloomfield that employs 103 people.
Chebli reassured those employees that their jobs will not be impacted by the expansion into Summerside.
“We have great people in Bloomfield and we are going to continue to expand the Bloomfield site,” he said.
He said the decision was made to open a second office because they’ve been having trouble finding enough workers in the Bloomfield area to keep up with their demand for new hires.
The two sites will work together on the same contracts, providing customer support for several national telecom companies, and will have the same regional manager.
“I hope to find enough employees. They tell me we can even find some bilingual people, so that’s going to be great,” said Chebli.
The city expects to start work on the Summerside building within the next couple of weeks and the tenant is expecting to move in by late spring. The two current tenants in the building will not be displaced.