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Move over Xerox, Stream Global is in town

New facility may claim title of Wilsonville's largest employer


by: JOSH KULLA - Stream Global Services employee Trevor Danahy fields a call at his desk inside the heart of the companys new Wilsonville operations center. Visiting what is poised to become Wilsonville’s single largest employer is actually a glimpse inside today’s world of corporate customer service.

Unfortunately, the nondisclosure agreement that Stream Global Services requires of those who tour the international firm’s new Wilsonville operations center means that few details of what goes on there can be made public.

Rest assured, however, that the 1,200 current employees assigned to myriad technical and customer service duties for Stream clients are working in a colorful, modern environment that includes some unusual amenities, including break rooms equipped with large flat-screen televisions and video game consoles, foosball and billiards. by: JOSH KULLA - Stream Global prides itself on providing an enjoyable work place for its employees. In Wilsonville amenities include video game dens, foosball and a large, airy cafeteria overlooking the buildings back parking lot.

“We built this site particularly to suit our Stream employees,” Stream CEO Kathy Marinello said Oct. 23 at an open house event at the new facility. “We didn’t have to accept anything; we pretty much went from scratch and built it in a way that we thought it’d be a great place to come to work every day.”

Stream employs a skilled, multilingual workforce of more than 39,000 at 56 service centers in 22 countries across the globe. One of the newest is in Wilsonville, where it has transformed the former Hollywood Video headquarters off Boones Ferry Road into a bustling hive of sophisticated communication equipment and technology. It is set up entirely to support companies that make and sell athletic apparel, video game consoles and other hardware and complex financial software.

Marinello took over the company’s top spot in 2010 at the peak of the Great Recession. Since then, however, the company has bucked economic trends and continued its expansion around the world by focusing on job creation. In practice this has led to new jobs where demand is greatest — regardless of location. When Chinese firms need local support, that’s where Stream has gone. The same is true of Wilsonville and Beaverton before that.

“In this type of industry, the tech support and the skills we provide and the things we train people in, it’s really a part of the economy here,” she said. “The better we do it for our clients and the more we create a facility where we can create great service, we can keep jobs here and we can create as much opportunity here as we can offshore or overseas.”

Wilsonville Site Director Jillene Jensen said Stream intends for the Wilsonville center to become a showpiece for clients looking for the type of call center-oriented service the company provides.

“We’ve got about 56 locations around the globe, and this location here in Wilsonville is one of the most recent to go through a complete transition,” Jensen said. “We’re working our way around the globe to bring new technology, cutting-edge technology, brand-new technology into our call centers, and you get to see it firsthand.”

She also noted the company is looking to add up to 300 or more new technical support professionals. That would bring the Wilsonville operation to 1,500 or more employees, enough to challenge Xerox as the largest employer in the city, a rank the latter has enjoyed since 2000, when it acquired its Wilsonville campus by purchasing Tektronix’s color ink printing business.

Local impact

The nondisclosure agreement prevents anything more than a general description of the companies Stream serves, and it definitely forbids naming names. But it’s not a stretch to say the Wilsonville operation works with some of the biggest names in the corporate world. by: JOSH KULLA - Stream executives enjoy a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Stream Wilsonville Site Director Jillene Jensen doing the honors.

The former Hollywood Video hub now contains distinct areas organized by the clients they serve. Row upon row of low-slung cubicles neatly divide huge, open rooms humming with dozens of overhead flat-screen monitors.

“It’s been in the works for over a year now, and to finally see it come to fruition and to be here today is really cool,” said Stream Service Delivery Manager David Redell. “So we’re a very global company, but Wilsonville is a very strategic site for us, not only in the Stream operations but obviously the Wilsonville community.”

The reverse also is true. The addition of Stream already is having a positive impact on local businesses, while longer-term gains in housing and other services could also materialize.

Mayor Tim Knapp said he hopes to see Stream employees make Wilsonville their home in coming years. by: JOSH KULLA - This sign in the employee cafeteria displays the energetic and lighthearted approach taken to the companys new Wilsonville service center, where more than 1,200 people currently work.

“It’s wonderful to see this facility put to productive use and re-energized in ways that it hasn’t been in a few years,” Knapp said. “We’re very excited to hear reports from the community that some of our retailers are seeing upticks in business and seeing faces in the community that they haven’t seen before.”

Wilsonville Chamber of Commerce President Ray Phelps agreed.

“It’s been very exciting networking with this organization, because I think they have a direct impact on the majority of the members of the Wilsonville chamber,” Phelps said. “That’s the small-business people who are working hard every day, trying like hell to make a profit so they can come back and open the doors tomorrow, and you have made that a lot better opportunity for them.”

For more information about Stream Global Services, visit stream.com. People interested in finding out more about career opportunities at Stream in Wilsonville can visit stream.com/careers or visit facebook.com/streamglobalservices.

Josh Kulla can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and 503-636-1281, ext. 113. Follow him on Twitter, @wspokesman.



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