HARLINGEN, TEXAS (Nov. 15, 2019) – In November’s regular meeting, the Harlingen Economic Development Corporation’s Board of Directors announced that Qualfon Data Services, LLC had fulfilled its obligations to HEDC for the award of a $200,000 job creation grant.
Qualfon, a customer service contact center servicing cybersecurity, roadside assistance, and telecommunications clients with help desk and tech support, along with other services, continues to grow in Harlingen.
They recently extended their lease on a 40,000 square-foot office building for an additional five years and have approximately 450 employees at their site on Haine Drive.
HEDC estimates that Qualfon alone is producing more than $8 million annually into the local economy in wages. The multiplier effect for these 450 jobs is approximately 4 to 1, so that also means that Qualfon is helping maintain or create an additional 1,800 indirect jobs in the area.
Qualfon offers competitive wages and a number of perks such as tuition assistance for those employees seeking to better their lives by continuing their education.
Customer contact centers and back-office operators have found Harlingen’s central location in South Texas as ideal for attracting talent and maintaining high retention rates.
HEDC’s CEO Raudel Garza noted recently that there are more than 1.1 million people residing within a 45-minute drive to Harlingen. Due to this, much of the workforce in Harlingen travel from Brownsville, San Benito, Mercedes, Weslaco and other parts of the Valley.
Harlingen continues to be the location of choice for these back-office operators. Wages in these facilities can vary but usually range from about $9 per hour up to $20 per hour.
Qualfon, Dish Network, United Healthcare, Spectrum, and ACCT account for most of the employment in this sector. However, some local financial institutions and medical facilities also have significant back-office operations here, with the total number of jobs hovering around 3,000 – more than any other city in the Rio Grande Valley.
“We’ve had a very strong demand for office space for these back-office operations, and unfortunately we don’t have the inventory they seek,” Garza said.
“They typically require a large contiguous space with very high parking ratios.”
Garza said that HEDC is willing to work with developers to deliver that type of office space and will continue to support this important sector of the economy.
“Qualfon took a chance on Harlingen over five years ago and the HEDC and City took a chance on Qualfon, and we have not been disappointed,” Mickey Boland, HEDC Chairman, stated.
“Their continued growth is great for Harlingen and for all of South Texas.”