EDINBURG — Tony Pecina of McAllen had to drive every day to Harlingen to her call center job there. When she heard that MAXIMUS customer contact center was coming to Edinburg, she immediately looked into applying.
Pecina will bring her experience as a trainer to the company that is set to open its doors Monday to 120 employees who will begin their training. MAXIMUS plans to hire up to 400 people by next year.
The center, located in the Renaissance Industrial Park, will begin operations Sept. 6, assisting residents seeking Texas Health and Human Services Commission aid, such as Medicaid, SNAP food benefits and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
The leased building had to be adapted in record time to house MAXIMUS employees.
“We ran out of space in our other facilities but there is an increasing demand for service,” said Leslie Wolfe, MAXIMUS’s health services president. “In fact, without the demand we wouldn’t be meeting demands and serving the needy families of Texas.”
Edinburg was chosen in part because of the number of bilingual locals who could work the phones, Wolfe said.
“They are barely bilingual in Austin and you cannot go to Reynosa because they do not speak English there,” said state Rep. Aaron Peña, R-Edinburg, who was recognized as making these new jobs possible.
The new facility is the fourth site the company operates as part of its contract with the Health and Human Services Commission, the company said in a news release. Through that contract, MAXIMUS operates customer contact centers in Austin, Midland and Athens and employs more than 2,200 people throughout Texas.
Texans needing assistance can reach this and other state health services by calling 2-1-1.
“So many times we hear that people call somebody and they get on hold, then you have to punch in a bunch of numbers, and it takes forever to reach an actual human being to help when something is so critical and perhaps you lack education, you want to be able to have a human being in the other side of the end that is going to help you,” said state Rep. Veronica Gonzalez, who attended Thursday’s ribbon cutting of the new facility.
Martha L. Hernández covers health, business and general assignments for The Monitor and El Nuevo Heraldo. You can reach her at (956) 683-4846.