Cedar Rapids company expanding, adding 800 jobs

TLC opening new offices in New Mexico, Texas

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CEDAR RAPIDS — A Cedar Rapids customer contact business plans to add 800 jobs over the next six months as it opens new call centers in Marshalltown, as well as Las Cruces, N.M., and El Paso, Texas.

Thomas L. Cardella & Associates (TLC) will add 75 employees next month in Keokuk through the construction of a 4,000-square foot expansion of its call center in the southeast Iowa community. The company will hire an additional 150 employees in December for a new call center in western El Paso.

Thomas Cardella, founder and president of TLC, said a former call center in Las Cruces will open in January with 350 employees.

“A large company, Sitel, shut down a call center in Las Cruces and took all the jobs off shore to Bermuda,” Cardella said. “We are refurbishing all the cubicles and installing new carpeting and repainting the call center. We will take possession on Jan. 2 and hope to be functional either in late January or early February.”

Cardella said the employment expansion will continue in February with the hiring of 75 associates for a new call center in Marshalltown. He said a new call center will open in March in either New Mexico or Texas with 150 employees.

“We expect to announce the location of that call center either next week or the following week,” he said. “We’ve had a great work experience with our people in El Paso for the past eight years. Opening another call center in western El Paso just made sense.”

Cardella said Iowa’s low unemployment rate — 3.3 percent in August — has made it difficult to expand in the state and led to the additional call centers in New Mexico and Texas. He said the company has looked at rural areas of Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina and South Carolina, but convenient access for customers ruled out facilities in those areas.

Cardella said TLC will move its corporate headquarters in April from 4515 20th Ave. SW to 3735 Queen Ct. SW just off Edgewood Road SW near Highway 30.

“We looked at a nice glass building on Wright Brothers Boulevard SW east of I-380, but that wasn’t really convenient for most of our staff,” he said.

Cardella said TLC, with locations in Iowa, Florida, New Mexico, Texas and the Dominican Republic, will have about 2,400 employees when the planned physical expansion and hiring is completed.

“This will hold us until the middle of 2018 at the latest,” he said. “We know we are still going to be oversold, so I don’t know what we will do after that.”

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