|(c) 2011 Royal Caribbean|
Royal Caribbean is beefing up its Springfield, OR, call center and will hire another 100 telephone cruise representatives by Nov. 1, according to reports from the Register-Guard, Eugene, OR and other local media in that area. Total Royal Caribbean employment at the Springfield facility is expected to increase to 520.
The jobs are for entry-level call center workers -- those who answer calls from both travel agents and North American consumers. The center also handles consumer inquiries from its website.
Initially, it was expected Royal Caribbean would bring 1,000 employees to occupy the center, but the recession put a damper on those plans. In late 2009, only 250 or so were employed. But the line has since been adding workers.
The Register-Guard also reports that Royal Caribbean has fallen a bit short on the employment requirement in a loan forgiveness agreement it has with the state. As part of a $1.3 million incentive package to attract the cruise line to Springfield, Royal Caribbean received a $600,000 loan from the Governor’s Strategic Reserve fund.
Essentially, the line had to keep 600 full-time jobs in Springfield for six consecutive months between July 1, 2004, and Dec. 31, 2009. The agreement was later amended to give the line more time, and the deadline extended to Dec. 31, 2011.
A Royal Caribbean spokesman says the loan agreement wasn't the prime reason for the new jobs, noting that the call center needs to expand to meet demand.
Also, a new four-person team handling the loyalty program for Royal Caribbean’s onboard casinos and partnerships with casinos nationwide will be based at the Springfield facility.