Looking for work? Call centers to hire hundreds

LANE COUNTY, Ore. Royal Caribbean has 200 jobs openings to fill at its Springfield complex by the end of the year.

Royal Caribbean is hiring. Again.

Employment at the company's Springfield call center hit 600 last year.

The company expects to add 200 more positions this year, with the potential for 200 more next year.

The facility north of Beltline and east of Interstate 5 has a 1,000 person capacity.

While 600 people currently work at the facility, it has a capacity of 1,000.

Rita Stolze, Director of Trade Support and Service at Royal Caribbean, is hopeful in the next few years the Springfield office can get to at least 900 employees.

"We've invested in this community, and we have this very large facility here," she said. "We need to make the most of it. So over time, we're going to be at capacity."

The company has both permanent and seasonal employment opportunities available.

The majority of positions opening are for cruise and sales representatives.

The new hires would be replacing current employees of the company who have been promoted in the last few months.

The news from Royal Caribbean International came shortly after an Oregon Employment Department study was released this week. The document indicates that unemployment in Lane County held steady at 8 percent during August.

But there are other indications the job market is improving.

Gourmet food company Harry and David, which has operated a seasonal call center in downtown Eugene for the better part of 20 years, is returning this year.

It plans to onboard between 800 and 900 employees, which is significantly more than last year.

Economist Brian Rooney of the Oregon Employment Department said that with these seasonal opportunities, locals seeking jobs have more opportunities than they have seen in a while.

Further, he says that if someone focuses on the industries that are booming in the area, their chances of employment are much greater.

"The industries that have added to employment growth, to help drop the unemployment rate, are retail/trade and leisure/hospitality," Rooney said. "Also, the call centers that are being built in the area will be hiring, and those can be good jobs for people who need a flexible schedule."