A state-financed call center that helps track down child support is moving from Des Moines to Marshalltown. The center takes calls for the Iowa Child Support Recovery Unit, which is part of the Iowa Department of Human Services. Some of the call center’s 50 workers will make the commute, while others won’t make the transition.
Roger Munns, a spokesman for the Iowa Department of Human Services, says they expect to save some money by making the move. “But the prime reason is to address the rate of turn-over that we experience now in this business in Des Moines,” Munns says.
According to Munns other states have found that when they put this type of call center in a smaller city the turn-over rate is lower. “Hence, there’s increased stability and your work product is better,” Munns says.
He says the state will pay less to train call takers because there won’t be as many to show the ropes, and the customers will get better answers from longer-term employees as opposed to brand new call takers. The state contracts with a private company to run the call center. Maximus — a Virginia-based company — has been running the center for the past six years and submitted the winning, two-million dollar bid to move the call center to Marshalltown, with an opening date sometime in July.
The company expects about half of the current 50 employees to commute to Marshalltown. Munns says some may move there. The workers are paid up to 14-dollars an hour. The call center fields about 18-hundred calls per day. The calls come from parents who have questions about the child support they owe or are to receive.