David Holley / The Bulletin

More than 200 jobs are coming to Central Oregon courtesy of TRG Customer Solutions and a client with whom it contracts.

Between now and June, TRG plans to hire more than 200 new staff members at its Bend call center to handle incoming calls for the client, which TRG said it could not identify. Those new staffers will handle both simple and complex technical support questions for the client’s customers, said Chris Peterson, who is involved with data analysis and reporting for TRG.

The new positions will pay $10 to $12.50 per hour, according to a news release Thursday from TRG.

Along with those technical support positions, some of the new jobs will be filling supervisory, training and management roles, TRG said in the release.

TRG said in March 2009 it would hire 350 staffers for technical support for Apple Inc.

Many jobs at TRG are to some extent seasonal, which accounts for various hiring influxes throughout the year, Peterson said. He said clients’ demand for technical support employees fluctuates, depending on different products they offer or holidays.

Peterson said TRG does not lay off employees, but determines how many employees must be hired based on attrition at TRG and its clients’ demands.

“We very, very carefully manage the (employee) forecast in partnership with the client to manage what staffing levels will be,” Peterson said.

TRG, which is based in Jacksonville, Fla., will have about 400 employees working for this particular client in Bend after all of the hiring is complete. That same client contracted for about 325 employees after a springtime hiring influx last year, Peterson said.

In all, TRG will employ about 460 people in Bend after the hiring.

“We’re very excited about this,” Peterson said about adding new employees.

The announcement comes at a crucial time for Central Oregon, which is facing some of the highest unemployment rates in the state. Crook County’s rate was the highest among Oregon’s 36 counties, at 16.8 percent, while Deschutes and Jefferson counties followed close behind at 14 and 14.1 percent, respectively, in December, the latest data available.

It’s hard to tell how the 200 new jobs could impact those unemployment rates, said Carolyn Eagan, the Oregon Employment Department’s re-gional economist for Central Oregon. If they are seasonal jobs, it might merely keep the rates stagnant, she said.

But because so many people have been on unemployment benefits for a prolonged period, Eagan said every job is important for High Desert households.

“Any firm that is saying they’re going to bring that number of people on over the next couple of months (is) definitely a positive,” she said.

Peterson said TRG is looking for people who are customer-oriented and have good listening skills. He said it’s important for applicants to have basic computer knowledge.

TRG and its client will put people who are hired through a training program. The positions will be full- and part-time, and will fill slots seven days a week.

TRG has more than 3,500 employees at 17 international locations. It provides customer care, technical support and telesales services to Fortune 500 companies in the telecommunications, financial services, technology, health care and utility industries, according to the news release.

People can bring applications to the call center, at 501 S.W. Hill St. in Bend, or call 541-647-6670.