With Florida's unemployment nearing double digits, at least one agency is sparking a hiring spree: Florida's unemployment office.
The Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation, which oversees unemployment compensation, has contracted to open an overflow call center in Orlando to help handle the continued surge of new applications and claim queries.
Frustrated callers have complained for months of busy signals and dropped calls in trying to reach AWI representatives. At one point during peak applications this year, average wait times exceeded an hour.
Problems have persisted despite the hiring of 500 additional workers to manage 1,000 phone lines at three locations on weekdays, at nights and on weekends.
The new center, which will be managed by Faneuil Inc., will be able to handle up to 10,000 calls a day.
AWI interim director Cynthia Lorenzo, in awarding a state contract to Faneuil, cited the company's "commitment to this mission, established reputation for exceptional customer service and enthusiastic efforts to expedite our project."
Faneuil said it will hire about 180 full-time employees and additional support staff for the project. It currently employs 2,400 at 12 offices statewide.
For more information about Faneuil and job opportunities, go to www.faneuil.com.