By Richard O Jones
More than 200 member of the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce came to an open house July 30 to welcome one of the city’s newest businesses, StarTek, an international company that has opened a call center on the second floor of a redeveloped abandoned department store.
Hamilton officials say that StarTek’s presence is significant for a number of reasons, not the least of which is jobs. When the call center becomes fully operational, according to Scott Farmer, vice president of operations, it will employ 682 people, the biggest influx of jobs in the city in over a decade.
But as a partner in the $6.5 million redevelopment of the Elder-Beerman building at 150 High St., abandoned during the recession in 2009 and leaving the city with an empty 167,000-square-foot building in the heart of its downtown district, the city believes the new tenants are ushering in a new era of downtown commerce.