Sutherland Global Move-In Delayed - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Sutherland Global Move-In Delayed

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ALEXANDRIA, La. -- What's going on with the old Startek building?

That's the question job seekers are asking, now four months after it was announced that a new company would be moving in.

The building still sits empty on Wimbledon Drive.

News Channel Five's Brooke Buford spoke with one person who says she's applied several times and says the communication business, well, isn't communicating with her.

Natalie McDonald is ready to get to work.

"I want to be as optimistic as possible," she said. "I want to go back to work. I'm very anxious to rejoin the workforce."

A former Startek employee, McDonald was anxious to find out who would be moving in to her old employer's building. So, along with hundreds of others, she went to a job fair in January. Then in March, Sutherland Global Services announced they would be coming to Cenla.

"We get excited when anyone wants to locate in our region," said Rick Ranson, with the Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance (CLEDA). "The city was great on this project. They were the lead on the project. When you can replace, especially with Startek leaving, replace that with 600 good jobs with a good company, we were very excited."

The international call center announced plans to open in May. There was talk of hiring 600 employees and the hiring process was supposed to begin in April.

"It's July, we're getting pretty apprehensive," said McDonald.

Natalie said she applied in person at the job fair and then followed up online. She says, she hasn't heard back, and now two months later - the doors are still closed.

According to the CLEDA, there is a reason why.

"They had to make some changes to their building," said Ranson. "They're doing some rewiring. It's running a little slow. But, they're anxious as the people who want the jobs. They've got clients waiting for their services. We hope they'll be hiring soon. I know they're working every day on the building. We hope to hear something real soon about the hiring process."

We reached out to Sutherland Global Services for an interview about the work progress. Our calls went unreturned, which makes McDonald nervous.  But she says she's trying to be positive in her search for a new job.

"I want to be as optimistic as possible, I want to go back to work, I'm very anxious to rejoin the workforce," she said. "I'm as confused as everyone else. I'm looking for answers from the media, from the city, from the state anybody that will give me a clue as to whether or not there will be a job for me."

 CLEDA says they have spoken with company representatives and they believe the company will be up and running by the end of the summer.


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