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The academy won top honors from high school guidance counselors, who rated it tops for undergraduate education in a survey by U.S. News & World Report. Photo by STUART WONG, THE GAZETTE FILE

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New York-based iQor Inc., which has 31 call centers around the world to handle customer service, collections and other business services on behalf of its clients, will hire more than 100 customer service agents and supervisors in Colorado Springs who will work out of their homes, not an office.

The Springs program will be iQor’s first large-scale, work-at-home operation, said spokeswoman Robyn Gross.

“It’s a whole new program and concept,” she said of the Springs operation. The privately held company operates a 200-person, 6-year-old call center in Pueblo.

iQor handles work that is outsourced to the company by its clients, which include financial service and telecommunications businesses and government agencies. Most of that work is handled by 14,000 employees in iQor call centers in five countries, including the United States. A consumer with a question about a bill they’ve received, for example, might wind up talking to an iQor employee in a call center who’s fielding calls for a bank or other client.

In the case of the Springs, however, a consumer would wind up talking to an iQor employee operating out of a home office or similar work space. The Springs work-at-home program is meant to tap the skills of people who have children or elderly parents at home, don’t have transportation or otherwise can’t work in a traditional office environment, Gross said.

“There is a wonderful pool of employable people that really are unable to work normal business hours or in an office environment that this positioning, work-at-home (program), allows us to access,” Gross said.

But why Colorado Springs? Since operating its call center in Pueblo, which iQor took over last year when it purchased Pennsylvania-based RMS Inc., the company has become impressed with the quality of Colorado’s workforce, Gross said.

iQor says it’s looking to hire people who live within 30 miles of Colorado Springs, with a high school diploma or general education degree, customer service experience and computer, verbal and written skills. Employees need a quiet place to work, high-speed Internet access and their own computer.

Springs employees will handle in-bound customers calls, for the most part, Gross said; employees in Pueblo are part of a commercial division and talk with other businesses.

Starting salaries will reflect an employee’s experience; benefits will not be available to work-at-home personnel, Gross said.

Job applicants will train in an iQor training center in space the company has leased on Circle Drive in Colorado Springs. Training will take place over seven weeks — four weeks of instruction and three weeks of supervised operation.

Applications will be accepted online only, via the company’s website at www.iqor.com; select the “apply now” option, and then select “Colorado Springs” as the application location.­—Contact the writer at 636-0228

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