Talk about a company in expansion mode? Priceline says it plans to hire 562 employees for its Michigan call center in the US over the next five years.
The facility, in the city of Wyoming in Michigan, already supports 386 full-time and 253 temporary Priceline employees.
It turns out that although the new-hires will be Priceline employees, their primary duties will be to support Priceline’s Booking.com brand.
Priceline established the call center there in 2008 in cooperation with local authorities and has amended the agreement, replete with incentives and property tax abatements.
The company now projects it will add 562 jobs there over the next five years.
These call center employees, many of whom are bilingual, will support Booking.com, says Priceline spokesman Brian Ek.
Priceline found the Michigan location attractive because of the availability of multilingual speakers, especially people adept at European and Asian languages, Ek says.
The Priceline Group, as of the end of January 2011, had 750 employees in the US and another 2,650 abroad so adding another 562 domestically amounts to quite a ramping up for Booking.com.
The hiring binge does not occur because of any consolidation of other Priceline call centers, Ek says.
Booking.com has experienced strong growth in its Europe and Asia hotel business, and it is broadening its reach in the US, as well.
“It is a credit to the multilingual skills and work ethic of West Michigan’s workforce that Priceline is increasing its investment in our region,” says Susan Jackson, vice president of business development for The Right Place, a nonprofit regional economic development group involved in the deal.