NARS in place at old Sears building

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Mayor Jay Knudtson and other community leaders toured the facility Friday.

National Asset Recovery Services Inc. announced Friday the completion of the transition from the company's temporary facility at Auburn Park Place to its permanent location in the Town Plaza shopping center in Cape Girardeau.

"This is officially the last time we'll call it the old Sears building. It's the new NARS campus," said president and CEO Chris Buehrle. "I want this to be a landmark. I want people to say, 'Go to the NARS building and take a left.'"

Mayor Jay Knudtson and other community leaders toured the facility Friday.

NARS in Cape Girardeau has 250 employees who started working at the new facility on William Street over a week ago. According to Buehrle, the work force will easily double by Christmas. The business process outsource company is accepting applications, and Buehrle said he's looking to hire 100 more people within the next 90 days.

Since the company first began hiring in December, 50 employees that started out as agents have been promoted, according to NARS facilities manager Barb Cagle.

"This was the biggest influx in jobs in over a decade," Knudtson said.

NARS will have a weight room, a cafe and a day-care center added to the 40,000-square-foot facility in the next six months. Construction is underway.

This is the first time a NARS site has had these features, Buehrle said, adding that he wants to attract good workers and give them reasons to stick around. The break room will also have two flat-screen TVs.

A fenced-in playground for the day-care children will be built behind the 40-year-old building. Buehrle said trees will be planted to block out the other buildings.

The day care will be primarily for children of employees, but Buehrle said it may be opened to the public, too.

He's still looking for someone to create a preschool program in the building.

The building renovation is three-fourths done. It includes a call center with 417 work stations on the main floor plus a command center, three training rooms, a video technology room, an executive lounge and a conference room. The computers' software system allows NARS to maintain its system remotely from the company's St. Louis headquarters.

tkrakowiak@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 137

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