Job fair attracts hundreds from near, far

Published 3:16 am Wednesday, May 13, 2009

By By MaryClaire Foster
Hundreds of applicants vying for one of 50 to 60 available positions headed to Atmore this week for a job fair.
The applicants were applying for a customer relations position with the Startec division of Americatel, an international long distance service provider.
A job fair was held Monday and Tuesday of this week in the Trinsic/Matrix building, attracting applicants from throughout Escambia County and neighboring counties.
The job creation is a result of the merging of the customer operations centers of sister companies Matrix Telecom Inc. and Americatel.
Matrix’s customer operations division is currently located in Atmore and the same division of Americatel will be moving to co-locate with it in the former Trinsic office building.
John Heathcock, director of workforce management for Trinsic powered by Matrix, said a high number of applicants was expected.
More than 300 people applied on Monday alone and as of 1 p.m. Tuesday, more than 65 had arrived for interviews.
Stephen Wagner, executive vice president of customer operations for Matrix, said along with the large turnout, he was also pleased with the quality of the pool of applicants.
The job fair was to determine who would attend an eight day training session, paid for by the applicant, and from there the company would select new employees.
He said only a handful of the hundreds of potential applicants had left after learning they had to pay for the training.
Employees will start out making $9.50 an hour and after a 90-day period it would be bumped up to $10 an hour.
Matrix Telecom Inc. operates as Matrix Business Technologies and Trinsic, Powered by Matrix providing voice and data services to small and medium enterprise and residential customers in the U.S. Matrix acquired Trinsic out of bankruptcy in 2007.
Americatel is based out of Rockville, Md. and provides international telecom services to immigrants in the U.S. and Canada. The two companies combined in January of this year and are owned by Platinum Equity.

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