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Business Observer Friday, May 3, 2019 4 months ago

Call center company commits to growth with new building plan

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Wisconsin-based Alta Resources has morphed into a Southwest Florida hiring machine behind explosive growth in clients. Training to mirror Fortune 500 clients it serves is paramount.
by: Andrew Warfield Lee-Collier Editor

Alta Resources endeavors to be the biggest company you’ve never heard about.

The Wisconsin-based call center company recently took the next step toward that end, with the unveiling of its future building, a new construction project that will eventually replace its current space, in the Gateway community in east Fort Myers.

There, more than 700 full-time and part-time employees provide call center and back office support for clients such as Fiat Chrysler, Reebok and others in the automotive, insurance, entertainment and sports apparel industries.

The new building, a $21 million project, will be within a mile of other space the company leases off Gateway Boulevard. It will also be within the growing Skyplex commercial development, on property owned by the Lee County Port Authority just south of Southwest Florida International Airport. 

Alta’s expanded and more permanent presence in Fort Myers is the achievement CEO and Chairman Jim Beré had in mind when he led the opening of the company’s expansion here.

“These are corporations that really care about their brands, so they are telling Alta that they believe we can do a better job interacting with their customers than they can.” Alta Resources Chairman and CEO Jim Beré.

“The new building was what we dreamed of and what we created a vision for when we came down here,” says Beré. “We came here because we loved the Fort Myers area and the universities that were close by. We felt we would grow as the area continued to grow and it would have the capacity to provide a great, qualified workforce. And that’s what happened.”

For now, Alta Resources will continue to lease its space in Gateway. It will own its new building in Skyplex with the option to construct a second building on the site leased from the Port Authority. Construction on the new building, the first phase on the 12.1-acre site, will begin this spring. With scheduled completion in November 2020, the expansion is expected to facilitate creating more than 480 local full-time and more than 300 part-time jobs.

The company first expanded to Fort Myers in 2013, opening the office with two executives recruiting employees. They weren’t lonely long, building a workforce of about 500 full-time and part-time jobs in a few months. In recent years, a more diversified clientele has resulted in an increase of year-round positions, including jobs in sales, customer care, and member services.

Alta Resources has leased 12.1 acres in Skyplex from the Lee County Port Authority with long-range plans to build a second office building there. Courtesy Alta Resources

A privately held company founded in 1995, Alta Resources provides customer care, sales fulfillment, e-commerce and back office services to Fortune 500 clients worldwide. It’s a thriving business, Beré says, as major corporations seek to seamlessly outsource many support functions. Most companies Alta serves avoid publicizing their relationship, so their customers are unaware they are not interacting with internal employees, but instead Alta personnel. The key to maintaining that illusion, Beré says, is through intensive training and infusing into the staff the corporate identity of the client.

“These are corporations that really care about their brands, so they are telling Alta that they believe we can do a better job interacting with their customers than they can,” says Beré. “Their customers are calling about all kinds of issues, and the companies use this information to get quality feedback and even early indications about what consumers like or dislike, and that goes into further product development."

In addition to its headquarters and fulfillment center in Neenah, Wisc., Alta Resources has offices in Brea, Calif., and Pasig City, Philippines. The company employs more than 4,000 and plans to grow into its new space in Fort Myers as it secures more clients.

Alta Resources' new 90,000-square-foot building in Skyplex in Fort Myers will accommodate as many as 1,000 new employees. It will continue to lease its current 62,000 square feet in nearby Gateway. Courtesy Alta Resources

“If you called in to the 800 number listed by the company, you would never hear the name Alta Resources,” says Beré. “Our employees take on the identity and culture of the company they represent. They work on a team dedicated to our individual clients, and it takes four six weeks of training to accomplish that.”

Alta’s growth, Beré says, is prompting the company to transition more heavily into a full-time, year-round staff. Investment in the company’s new building, and the option to create a two-building campus in Skyplex, he adds, is a reaffirmation of Alta’s dedication to creating jobs and its commitment to Southwest Florida.

“Much of our success in Fort Myers is directly related to the incredible workforce we’ve been able to hire here,” says Beré. “And as a result, we’re transitioning to a more year-round workforce, as well increasing the number of positions we have to fill."

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