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Wednesday, July 2, 2003



Oregon firm seeks
breaks to relocate
call center

A St. Louis School grad is
talking to several states about
expanding Encompass TeleServices


A 4-year-old Oregon company headed by a 1986 Saint Louis School graduate plans to meet tomorrow with state officials to learn what kinds of financial breaks are available to woo a 500-person call center to Oahu.

Encompass TeleServices Inc. is a privately held company that runs two call centers in Beaverton, Ore., and one in Las Vegas, which provide customer service support to other businesses. John Cargal, president, chief executive and co-founder, is meeting for the first time with Ted Liu, director of the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.

Calls centers have a history of coming and going in Hawaii. The jobs are typically entry-level.

Encompass makes no bones that it is shopping around different places for tax breaks, incentives and outright cash. Washington state and Texas are already in the running.

"We're looking for some tax breaks or some dollar-for-dollar matches on training," Cargal said. He declined to say exactly what the company is looking for, because doing so would tip off the state as well as competitors, Cargal said. "We're real high on Hawaii. We want to go to Hawaii."

A 500-employee call center in Hawaii would add significantly to Encompass' total work force of 850 employees. The firm said it has already grown speedily from 20 workers in 1999.

Encompass touts having such major customers as Microsoft Corp. and T-mobile International AG. The firm claims to be profitable, though it declines to release information other than its annual percentage growth in revenues.

Liu could not be reached for comment yesterday.

After graduating Saint Louis, Cargal said he got a bachelor's in marketing and advertising from Oregon's Portland State University. He then worked for call center companies before he started Encompass.



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