Brodhead gains 45 jobs in new call center

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Gina Duwe
Monday, July 22, 2013

BRODHEAD—Area residents receiving sales calls from cable companies might soon be hearing from a representative calling from Brodhead.

Sauk City-based Straight Forward recently opened a new call center in Brodhead, creating about 45 jobs, said Tom Swanson, manager of development and recruiting.

The company offers outsourcing and consulting services, primarily in the cable industry.

Brodhead is an ideal location for the company's expansion, Swanson said. Company executives were familiar with the area, and the building at 2602 1st Center Ave. already was set up as a call center from the previous occupant.

Straight Forward also prides itself on being a Midwest outsourcer in rural areas, and the company received an “overwhelming response” from the community at its July 9 open house, when 70 to 80 people showed up, Swanson said.

The company needed to expand because of increasing business from its existing clients, as well as a new contract starting next month, he said.

The company hired 24 people at the open house, and those employees started last week, he said. Another 40 applications are being considered for 18 to 20 positions, which are scheduled to start next week. Job seekers can apply on the company's website at straightforward.cc or stop in the office.

“That should really get us to where we want to be immediately,” he said.

Straight Forward opened in Sauk City in 2009, expanded to an Eau Claire location in 2010 and added another call center in Rice Lake last fall. At the same time company officials were opening the Brodhead office, they also were adding another 18 call center seats in Rice Lake.

Straight Forward employs 250 to 300 across its four locations, Swanson said.

“We just have been growing due to performance and needs of the business,” he said.

Work for call center employees is split between calling a cable company's existing customers and calling non-subscribers, possibly who are moving into the cable company's coverage area.

Center employees are age 16 to 65 and range from high school graduates to those working on doctorate degrees, he said.

“It's really a diverse group,” he said.

The Brodhead building lends itself to expansion, he said. The initial idea, he said, is to hit the 45-seat mark, then see what the company's needs are after taking on the Time Warner contract in August.

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