Monday, January 14, 2013

Local Employment News: Data and Call Centers, and Agriculture

Local news stories from Central Oregon and the Willamette Valley show some bright spots for a diverse set of industries.

A story from the Statesman Journal reports that T-Mobile plans to hire 130 full-time customer service representatives at its Salem call center. The article states that starting pay for these call center jobs ranges from $11.08 per hour to $13.16 per hour, with benefits and potential bonuses.

The Bulletin features an article on the continuing growth in Central Oregon's data centers. The completion of the Ponderosa substation this spring will double the amount of electricity Central Oregon users can draw from Bonneville Power Administration transmission lines in the area. This will enable Facebook's second data center in Crook County. The full article provides more details.

An article from the Register-Guard explains that one of the biggest concerns in agriculture, besides the perennials such as weather, pests and rising prices, is the graying of farmers. The average age of farmers has risen every year, from age 39 in 1945 to age 58 in 2007. 

Lane County filbert (a.k.a. hazelnut) growers manage 3,100 acres of trees, with an annual harvest value of about $7 million. In recent years, market prices and yields have risen. But as family members retire, challenges surface: for some farms, retirements mean fewer hands to do the work, and raise the need for streamlining operations. Younger generations are stepping in to fill the gap, and learning about more than just farming; understanding finances and economic viability are a vital part of the business too. The full story offers more details on how some are family farms are undergoing this process.

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