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August 9, 2001
(Executive Council)


Premier announces significant business initiative in Carbonear

Premier Roger Grimes announced today at a news conference in Carbonear that ICT Group Inc., a global provider of customer relationship management (CRM) solutions, intends to open a new customer contact centre in the area which is expected to create up to 300 new jobs. 

The customer contact centre will handle service calls for clients in the financial and insurance industries and will be operational in September. The operation will be similar to the centre the ICT Group opened in Corner Brook in June of this year. 

"This is an exciting economic development initiative for the Carbonear region," said Premier Grimes. "The diversification of our economy and the creation of new jobs, especially in rural areas, is a commitment that the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has made to the people of this province."

Also on hand for the opening were Beaton Tulk, Deputy Premier and Minister of Industry, Trade and Rural Development; Brian Tobin, Minister of Industry and MP for Bonavista-Trinity-Conception; George Sweeney, MHA for Carbonear-Harbour Grace and Parliamentary Secretary to Minister Tulk for Information and Advanced Technologies; Glenn McCormack, Vice President of Operations for ICT Canada; and Glen Seymour, Director of Business Voice Solutions and Support for Aliant Telecom (parent company of NewTel).

Minister Tulk reiterated the province's commitment to jobs and growth. "Our priority is to help create new job opportunities through the private sector in all areas of the province. In our recently released report on Jobs and Growth, we targeted several knowledge based industries for growth. One of those industries is the customer contact or ‘call centre' industry."

"The contact centre we intend to open in Carbonear will help meet the continued demand for CRM sales and service solutions from existing and prospective clients across Canada and the U.S.," said Glenn McCormack, Vice President of Operations for ICT Canada. 

"I am extremely pleased by the announcement that ICT intends to set up operations in Carbonear," said Mr. Sweeney, MHA for Carbonear-Harbour Grace. "The 300 jobs will have a tremendous impact in bringing economic stability to the whole region." In his role as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Rural Development, Mr. Sweeney says he has been working hard over the past several months to bring another industry to the area.

NETWORK Newfoundland and Labrador, a public/private partnership between the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and NewTel – an Aliant company – worked closely with the ICT Group to bring this centre to Carbonear. The organization was established in 1995 to attract customer contact centre operations to the province. To date, it has succeeded in bringing six centres to Newfoundland and Labrador, creating over 2,000 new jobs. 

"Today's announcement marks a significant recognition of NETWORK's efforts, in conjunction with its partners," said Glen Seymour, Director of Business Voice Solutions and Support for Aliant Telecom (the parent company of NewTel). "This is a wonderful achievement for the team and firmly enhances the role of this province as a key player in the call centre sector."

The Department of Industry, Trade and Rural Development will provide an incentive package to the ICT Group in the form of a wage rebate on its total payroll, similar to what has been provided for its Corner Brook operation and other ‘call centres' that have been attracted to the province. The incentives will be performance based, and paid out over a five year period once the jobs have actually been created and verified. 

"We recognize this is a very competitive industry and, as a province, we must be prepared to offer incentives which are comparable with other jurisdictions if we are to succeed in attracting credible companies such as ICT to Newfoundland and Labrador," said Minister Tulk. "This is a fair deal for the province and will mean a significant number of new jobs and resulting economic benefits for Newfoundland and Labrador in general and the Carbonear region in particular."

ICT Group (NASDAQ: ICTG) is a publicly traded company based in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. It employs more than 8,000 people worldwide and it operates more than 40 customer contact centres throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia, supporting clients in the financial, insurance, telecommunications, healthcare, information technology, media and energy services industries. The company currently manages six other CRM sales and service operations in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. 
Media contact:
Carl Cooper, Office of the Premier, (709) 729-3960
Jackie Amendolari, ICT Group, (215) 702-2018
Tracy Kenney, Industry, Trade and Rural Development, (709) 729-2257
Brenda Reid, Manager Public Affairs, Aliant Telecom, 1-866-739-2503

2001 08 09                                                    2:40 p.m.

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