Jump to content

      













Photo

[Saanich] Vancouver Island Technology Park | Built


  • Please log in to reply
49 replies to this topic

#41 spanky123

spanky123
  • Member
  • 11,668 posts

Posted 15 October 2013 - 09:20 AM

As for the City of Victoria, in what capacity was City Hall involved? I'm not sure I understand why the City of Victoria would be working to attract West if the direct beneficiary of the operation would be a municipality three municipalities removed from the City of Victoria.


I think that the belief was that 1,500 people generating an income would benefit the entire region and help to reduce some of the social problems we have in Victoria.

In fairness to West, there are not too many locations in Victoria or Saanich that could support the size of the workforce they were trying to achieve. Central Saanich is at most a 15 - 20 minute drive from most areas of town and is against traffic at most times. It is serviced by public transport but not as much as downtown Victoria obviously.

From what I have been told, the primary problem at West was work ethic and employee turnover. There were enough employees to fill all of the seats but the average seat was turning over twice a year.

#42 AllseeingEye

AllseeingEye

    AllSeeingEye

  • Member
  • 4,050 posts
  • LocationGorge-Selkirk

Posted 15 October 2013 - 10:56 AM

I think that the belief was that 1,500 people generating an income would benefit the entire region and help to reduce some of the social problems we have in Victoria.

In fairness to West, there are not too many locations in Victoria or Saanich that could support the size of the workforce they were trying to achieve. Central Saanich is at most a 15 - 20 minute drive from most areas of town and is against traffic at most times. It is serviced by public transport but not as much as downtown Victoria obviously.

From what I have been told, the primary problem at West was work ethic and employee turnover. There were enough employees to fill all of the seats but the average seat was turning over twice a year.


Pretty much this; you also need to recall and take into account how significant the call center business was in the late 90's / early 2000's in BC and on the island. Competition to attract large contact centers was intense and cities like Victoria would work with and actively lobby the BC Contact Center Association with the intent of wooing companies like West, eBay, RMH etc. to their city. That process re: West was very much taking into account the presumed benefits to the region, and not just the CoV. Remember RMH had a 1400-seat call center in Nanaimo at the time, in a converted mall north of the city on the Island Hwy. Although West opened with 600 seats the goal was a build out to 1200+ ultimately including the second floor at the Keating location.

Certainly the city had stars in their eyes too - imagine, so the thinking went, the benefit to the local regional economy from any employer proffering the prospect of 1000+ jobs of any description, even if the bulk of them were front line CSR positions. Beyond government employers locally, provincial/federal and municipal, to this day offhand I cannot think of any local (private) employer with that many employees.

#43 VicHockeyFan

VicHockeyFan
  • Suspended User
  • 52,121 posts

Posted 15 October 2013 - 11:04 AM

Certainly the city had stars in their eyes too - imagine, so the thinking went, the benefit to the local regional economy from any employer proffering the prospect of 1000+ jobs of any description, even if the bulk of them were front line CSR positions. Beyond government employers locally, provincial/federal and municipal, to this day offhand I cannot think of any local (private) employer with that many employees.


THRIFTY FOODS ***pdf
<p><span style="font-size:12px;"><em><span style="color:rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;">"I don’t need a middle person in my pizza slice transaction" <strong>- zoomer, April 17, 2018</strong></span></em></span>

#44 AllseeingEye

AllseeingEye

    AllSeeingEye

  • Member
  • 4,050 posts
  • LocationGorge-Selkirk

Posted 15 October 2013 - 11:13 AM

THRIFTY FOODS ***pdf


There you go, although that list is striking for the overwhelming number of "public" employers; no surprise but it does reinforce the notion of how dependent the region is on "government". I might be inclined to question some of those numbers however; after I left West I was an IT manager for Coast Capital from 2003-2008 and at the time CCS had 700 island-based employees (1900 overall in BC), the majority of those in branches from Mill Bay south. At the Shelbourne branch alone, where IT was located on the second floor, there were 75+ staff, so I think "154" is a bit low unless they have made radical staff reductions in Greater Victoria since then.

#45 jonny

jonny
  • Member
  • 9,211 posts

Posted 15 October 2013 - 11:37 AM

What information do we have about the total volume of public and private workers in Victoria?

The list in the CRD Twenty Largest Employers list includes 44k private sector and 5k public sector employees, which is obviously a significant difference.

That being said, there are hundreds if not thousands of private employers in Victoria, most of which only employ a handful of people. Of course the public sector employers are larger as they serve a larger number of clients. It would be interesting to see how the total volume of workers breaks down.

#46 Mike K.

Mike K.
  • Administrator
  • 50,960 posts

Posted 15 October 2013 - 12:17 PM

...after I left West I was an IT manager for Coast Capital from 2003-2008 and at the time CCS had 700 island-based employees (1900 overall in BC), the majority of those in branches from Mill Bay south. At the Shelbourne branch alone, where IT was located on the second floor, there were 75+ staff, so I think "154" is a bit low unless they have made radical staff reductions in Greater Victoria since then.


154 are part-time/casual and 357 are full time. I'd say they've probably added 20% over the last three years, if that makes sense?

Going back to West for a bit, let's not forget that the period between 2005 and 2009, give or take, was the peak of a difficult situation for employers. Jobs were going unfilled in virtually all sectors and many businesses started reaching out to foreign temporary workers just to fill usually sought after positions. West was obviously fighting for the same workers so many other companies were after but their location gave them a massive disadvantage. And it was in that period that we had the huge runup in office projects (Radius, Westbank, the church, Gateway, Atrium, Uptown, and several others) to satisfy the needs of many companies needing to expand their work forces and not having any opportunities to find adequate office space (or employees). Then one day everything literally went poof and the madness was over. Unfortunately for West they had already packed up and left, but had they stayed I think they would have found the employment situation completely different in today's market and economy.

Know it all.
Citified.ca is Victoria's most comprehensive research resource for new-build homes and commercial spaces.


#47 http

http

    Data Sans Practicality

  • Member
  • 1,026 posts

Posted 15 October 2013 - 01:16 PM

A good situation for car pooling imo, if you could post a notice to try to find co-workers in the same complex(es) with the same schedule who lived anywhere near your home's location.


That's all fine and good if you're on full time or favoured by the schedulers. But it is useless if you're a part-timer trying to actually make money - you've got to say "yes" to overtime and extra (or worse yet, changed) shifts.
"Who are those slashdot people? They swept over like Mongol-Tartars." - F. E. Vladimirovna

#48 spanky123

spanky123
  • Member
  • 11,668 posts

Posted 15 October 2013 - 02:00 PM

154 are part-time/casual and 357 are full time. I'd say they've probably added 20% over the last three years, if that makes sense?

Going back to West for a bit, let's not forget that the period between 2005 and 2009, give or take, was the peak of a difficult situation for employers. Jobs were going unfilled in virtually all sectors and many businesses started reaching out to foreign temporary workers just to fill usually sought after positions. West was obviously fighting for the same workers so many other companies were after but their location gave them a massive disadvantage. And it was in that period that we had the huge runup in office projects (Radius, Westbank, the church, Gateway, Atrium, Uptown, and several others) to satisfy the needs of many companies needing to expand their work forces and not having any opportunities to find adequate office space (or employees). Then one day everything literally went poof and the madness was over. Unfortunately for West they had already packed up and left, but had they stayed I think they would have found the employment situation completely different in today's market and economy.


Don't know if it would have made a lot of difference today. Even at $12 (adjusting for inflation) you don't attract a lot of people with great customer service skills and the ambition to stick to a job for an extended period. That is not to say that there were not a lot of great, committed people at West, just not enough of them.

Interesting to note that eBay's call centre in Vancouver shut down as well after a few years.

#49 AllseeingEye

AllseeingEye

    AllSeeingEye

  • Member
  • 4,050 posts
  • LocationGorge-Selkirk

Posted 15 October 2013 - 04:24 PM

Don't know if it would have made a lot of difference today. Even at $12 (adjusting for inflation) you don't attract a lot of people with great customer service skills and the ambition to stick to a job for an extended period. That is not to say that there were not a lot of great, committed people at West, just not enough of them.

Interesting to note that eBay's call centre in Vancouver shut down as well after a few years.


Yep with but a few exceptions the CC industry is essentially dead here; in my current role/employer we partner with some of the largest vendors in the industry including Avaya, MRV, Palo Alto Networks, Juniper etc., and almost all of them have call center operations offshore. There are some facilities in the US, but in general they are the exception rather then the rule.

Interestingly at least one of these partners has started as of 2012 to move their contact centers back to North America due to customer backlash against locating them in Asia (language barriers etc.) - however not to the US or Canada, but rather Costa Rica, and for generally the same reasons: an available labor pool willing to work for whatever the going wage happens to be. And in Costa Rica you know that won't be much. High work volumes, customer friendly time zones, but more critically even higher margins.....

#50 Brick and Mortar

Brick and Mortar
  • Member
  • 47 posts

Posted 16 October 2013 - 10:48 AM

It is not so much the 20K vacancy as much as it is that leases are not being renewed and that number will grow. If I recall, UVIC let the onsite lease manager go a year or two ago so I think that Colliers has been managing since then.



I do recall seeing that UVic let their former manager of commercial properties go. Going through the list of tenants at the park I see a lot of them are R&D, Lab type office space requirements which require specific zoning that quite often cannot be achieved in typical office buildings. Life labs for example use the park as a diagnostic center. I know that BC Ambulance has left but do you know any other tenants that have not renewed?

 



0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users