By Jeff Noble, Staff Writer
A call center contract issued last week for Senture LLC’s facilities in London and Monticello to provide call center support for victims of Superstorm Sandy along the East Coast has been stopped by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Along with the decision, 600 jobs coming to the Kentucky company were washed away.
Senture officials announced Monday that FEMA had issued a stop work order on the contract last weekend. In a news release, Senture said FEMA’s decision “stopped all efforts to hire 600 workers for call center positions in Senture’s (Kentucky) facilities.”
Headquartered in London, Senture’s office and center are located on Industrial Boulevard in the Vaughn Ridge Industrial Park off KY 80 West.
The news came after Senture received a request for the FEMA proposal earlier this month.
“We received that proposal last Friday, Nov. 2nd. We worked all week on this. We had our staff from London and Monticello working full-tilt, plus we were hiring 600 people. Then FEMA pulled the plug out from under us. It’s no fault of our own,” said Senture’s Human Resources Director Vicki Blair.
Senture’s President and CEO Chris Deaton added, “It’s kind of a double-edged sword for us. Last Tuesday morning we hit the ground running with news that we got the contract, and we got a tremendous response of well over 1,000 people applying in four days. Late Friday, word came that the contract might be stopped. And last weekend, it was stopped.”
According to the news release from Senture, FEMA officials said the stop work order was due to a lower-than-anticipated need for disaster assistance.
In the announcement, Deaton noted he and the company saw both sides of the coin.
“The bad side is that we didn’t get the FEMA jobs, and they were temporary. But the good news is there’s not that many people in the Northeast that needed assistance.”
While disappointed with the stop work order, both Deaton and Blair say the company’s looking forward to work opportunities in 2013 due to a new five-year contract which Deaton said would hire more than 370 people.
“We expect to win other work after the New Year, and all employment applications will be retained and used to fill those vacancies,” he said.
Blair said, “We have other jobs that we have bid, we have several new opportunities in the hopper and we’re in a ramp-up mode for a new government contract. We’re keeping optimistic to get these people to work.”