The phones ring non-stop right now at the Gateway campus of Alta Resources, but beginning next month they won’t be ringing nearly as much.

Alta, who are based in Wisconsin, is a call center operator whose employees assist people that have questions about health insurance plans. It’s currently the open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act so it’s a very busy time, but when open enrollment comes to an end on February 15, 2015 so too does the need for many of the call center’s employees.

At present, it’s not known how many staff members will remain at the Gateway facility.

“As with the seasonal nature of the Affordable Care Act, most of the positions at our facility there are also seasonal. This was communicated when we recruited, hired and ramped up this past summer. We are currently working through the numbers regarding how many employees will be retained, off-boarded and transitioned to other permanent roles within our company,” Cory Grassell of Alta told the Sun.

The ramping up this past summer that Grassell is referring to is a hiring blitz that saw Alta add 2,500 customer service reps company-wide, with a reported 900 of them here in Gateway. On many of its recruitment ads the company did state that the jobs were seasonal as Grassell mentioned.

“Please note that we remain committed to Fort Myers. Our hope and goal is to gain more clients at our Fort Myers facility as well as work with our current clients to secure more permanent roles there,” said Grassell.

It is possible that Alta could secure other contracts that will utilize the current call agents, or they could shift call volume from their other centers to Gateway – but no such plans have been announced.

“We will know more in the coming weeks,” Grassell said.

For now it seems the parking lot full of cars will become far less crowded in those coming weeks, and hundreds of Fort Myers area residents will be looking for new employment elsewhere.

Alta’s Gateway location is located at 12600 Gateway Blvd. The company’s other call centers are in Neenah, Wisconsin and Brea, California and Pasag City, Philippines.

NOTE: The figure of 900 Alta hires in Gateway was taken from an article by Tim Engstrom of the News-Press, while the 2,500 total hiring figure was widely reported.

Editor of the Gateway Sun and owner of restaurant delivery service Florida Food Runner.

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