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Telemarketing Firm Plans To Move Here
Telemarketing company executive Julie Hutchings was weeding flowerbeds in front of the old MCI call center on Thursday while a Riverbank public works employee climbed a ladder to fix the front door light.

Hutchings, founder, president and CEO of TeleContact Resource Services said she meant business when she announced her company had bought the building for $1.4 million the previous week and hopes to go into operation here with an estimated 100 employees by this summer. And she is not afraid to start the tidying up herself.

Her company, a division of eContactLive Inc. currently located in Modesto, makes telemarketing calls but generally from business to business to assist companies with marketing, finance, insurance and other concerns, she explained.

"I'm ecstatic we're able to fill the call center again," said Mayor Virginia Madueno. "It will bring in more business, provide employment opportunities for local people and be an economic boost for the whole town."

The city has experienced some problems with graffiti and tagging there in the recent past and the building's reopening for a working business should help stop that, she added.

Hutchings' employees can expect to work normal business hours from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. or thereabouts, not around the clock in shifts. That was the case in 2005 when the building employed several hundred people to provide telephone relay services for persons with speech and hearing problems.

The 42,000-square foot building located on Oakdale Road just north of the Patterson Road intersection has stood empty since 2010 when the last of several tenants left. Originally built for Blue Shield of California, it passed to MCI Communications Inc. in 1996 as a telephone relay center for the deaf and hard of hearing. MCI employed about 600 call center workers. Taking over the relay phone service in succession, various companies such as WorldCom, Relay America and GoAmerica pushed its employee total to near 900 at one time.

Hutchings has been renting about 10,000 square feet in a former skating rink in Modesto but has run out of space as her business grows. She started her Modesto business with four workers and now has a staff of about 100. The base pay is $9.25 per hour plus commissions and benefits.

She commented the City of Riverbank "has been bending over backwards" to help her company move into the building. That includes waiving the $10,000 cost of building permits to renovate the interior provided the business stays for a reasonable period and achieves her anticipated employment figures.

For more information, the company website can be found at