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MN Call Center Lands New Clients, Adds 200 Jobs

Skybridge Americas, which is based in the western suburbs and was previously part of Carlson Marketing, is adding jobs after landing new clients and extending a key contract.

MN Call Center Lands New Clients, Adds 200 Jobs

Skybridge Americas, Inc., a call center and product fulfillment company that is headquartered northwest of Minneapolis, has hired more than 100 workers during the past two months—and it has plans to hire 100 more during the first quarter of 2014.

The growth is driven largely by a key client’s contract extension and new customer acquisitions, Vice President of Sales and Strategy Keith Schwartz told Twin Cities Business in a Tuesday phone interview.

Skybridge Americas operates a call center and a 170,000-square-foot distribution facility in Greenfield, a relatively small town located west of Maple Grove. It currently employs roughly 400 people at those two facilities.

In addition to traditional call center services, Skybridge Americas provides product fulfillment, IT and helpdesk support, social media management, and services for loyalty programs, such as “My Coke Rewards,” for a broad portfolio of clients, Schwartz said.

In addition to its Greenfield operations, the company has another 465 workers at a Winnipeg, Manitoba contact center.

The latest 100 hires and the additional 100 positions that are expected to be filled by March are all located at the company’s Minnesota operations. In addition to those new permanent jobs, the company plans to hire another 60 temporary workers during the holiday season, in order to support product shipments.

The majority of new jobs are for “brand agents,” who provide consumer support by phone, among other services, according to Schwartz. Those hourly jobs typically start around $10 per hour, although the company is also hiring for some salaried management positions. Of the 200 new permanent jobs, roughly 75 percent are full-time positions.

Bolstering the Client Portfolio

The recent and planned growth stems largely from a major contract extension and the onboarding of new clients, Schwartz said. Skybridge Americas recently inked a five-year extension of its contract with Publishers Clearing House—a client with which it has worked for more than two decades. Skybridge Americas provides phone support, technical online support, and other services for Publishers Clearing House, the marketing company known widely for its sweepstakes contests.

Skybridge Americas has also landed several new newspaper clients, including the Star Tribune. Steve Alexander, the Minneapolis newspaper’s senior vice president of circulation, said in a statement that “moving customer support functions to a highly regarded, local contact center that understands our market will allow us to improve service to our customers.”

Skybridge Americas’ roots stretch back to 1953, when the company was founded as Maple Plain Fulfillment. Minnetonka-based Carlson Marketing bought the firm in 1975, and it was then acquired by Plymouth-based Gage Marketing in 1991. Eight years later, Argenbright Holdings bought the company, and then it changed hands yet again, when businessman Mark Morris purchased the business in 2011.

Skybridge Americas declined to disclose its annual revenue but said that 2013 sales are growing 15 percent year-over-year. The company recently expanded its Greenfield facility, and in addition to the 100 planned hires, the company could accommodate 173 more workers at its local operations, Schwartz said.

Skybridge Americas’ ongoing growth is “providing several opportunities for people located in Greenfield, Rogers, Buffalo, and the western suburban area to secure both part-time and full-time positions,” CEO and President Kevin Cattoor said in a statement.

Cattoor was formerly the chief operating officer of the Minnesota Twins.

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