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Published on Mar 19, 2012
PITTSFIELD - Rep. Mike Michaud (D-Maine) was in Pittsfield Friday to tour one of the rare companies rapidly expanding, amid a slowly healing U.S. economy. And the five-term Democrat is teaming up with a one-time political rival to keep jobs here in America...
Less than two years ago, Democrat Mike Michaud and Republican Jason Levesque were doing political battle in a race for the U.S. House.
But now, they're putting political ideology aside, working together, brainstorming ways to bring jobs previously shipped overseas, back to the homeland.
"I don't think we should be using taxpayer dollars, or contracts for federal agencies, for call centers that are overseas," said Michaud. "The more we can focus on bringing those jobs back here to the United States, the better off I think we all will be," he said.
At his Argo Marketing call center in Pittsfield, a third party customer contact center that works on behalf of clients around the globe, Levesque and his employees work daily to return to a gold standard of customer service, made more rare by overseas outsourcing.
And for Argo, it's paying off.
"We have 78 employees right now in our Pittsfield facility [and] we have another 50 down at our Lewiston facility," said Levesque. "Our area of greater potential growth is here in Pittsfield...so we're looking at initially hiring another 30 people within the next 30 to 60 days," he said.
In the hope of seeing seeing similar companies thrive across the nation, Michaud and Levesque are collaborating on federal legislation centered around a regulatory scheme and tax incentives capable of enticing corporations to keep jobs on American soil.
And, perhaps, even give them to the nation's heroes.
"Jason, himself, is a veteran [and] I think it's very important to make veterans a top priority for hiring, and I know Jason's willing to do that," said Michaud. "We'll be meeting with the GSA(General Services Administration), as well as the VA, to see what we might be able to do to help enhance what's going on here at Argo," he said.