May 27, 2015 - The City is reaching out to expanding contact centres around the world to locate in the City-owned state of the art, turn-key space in VictoriaVille Mall. The 38,000-sq-ft space, capable of employing over 400 persons, is being marketed globally by contact centre specialist Laurence Himel of the Toronto-based Cityspace Real Estate following a request for proposal process.

"We have a successful history in the contact centre industry in Thunder Bay," said Mayor Keith Hobbs. "It has already been proven that Thunder Bay has the skilled labour force to support this industry and the City will provide its full support to the next incoming call centre."

A skilled, trained and available local labour force is ready to go to work. The recent announcements of the closure of both the HGS and Teleperformance contact centers, and the closure of Target, has freed up a workforce of approximately 500 trained and skilled persons.

There are two organizations that provide Employment Ontario employment programs and services in Thunder Bay, namely YES Employment Services and Northwest Employment Works. On average, they have over 18,000 individuals visit their centres each year. Of those individuals, approximately 6,465 are seeking entry level positions throughout that time.

"This space is a gem and a rare find in the industry," said Laurence Himel, Principal & Broker of Record - Cityspace. "It is an ideal opportunity for a contact centre to relocate their business to a space that is ready to go and in a competitive city that has trained employees." Himel, working together with CEDC in 2005, brought MCCI, now Teleperformance, to Thunder Bay.

The space was once a movie theater which was completely reconstructed into a contact centre space in 2007 by the City with Heritage Fund assistance to create new jobs.

"Having worked closely with the contact centre sector since 2000, our office is aware that these companies are impacted by a number of business factors, both internal and external," said Richard Pohler, Senior Development Officer - Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC). "Workforce availability is often cited by firms as the reason for closure, however many times it is due to the loss of contracts, or an overcapacity within their other operations. Based on the CEDC's ongoing relationship with the various local organizations involved in workforce development, we believe that there is an excellent opportunity for the right employer to attract and retain a highly skilled and qualified contact centre industry talent pool in Thunder Bay."

If you or someone you know is interested in pursuing a career within the contact industry, the City is inviting individuals to email contact information to

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Contact: Richard Pohler, Senior Development Officer - CEDC, 807-625-3967

              Joel DePeuter, Manager - Realty Services, 807-625-2545

              Laurence Himel, Principal & Broker of Record - Cityspace, 416-777-6766