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Job prospects improve for Albion call center workers

A week ago, employees of the JPMorgan Chase call center in Albion were coping with the dismal news that the center would close in September.

While the 413-job center is still closing, the employees’ prospects of finding new jobs now appear brighter.

AMS Servicing in Depew is taking an active interest in recruiting from the call center’s workforce. JPMorgan Chase says AMS is looking to hire 150 workers and needs people with skills similar to those of employees at the call center.

The Albion center employees work with people who are in distress with their mortgages. AMS is a third-party loan servicer whose Depew center works on behalf of customers including loan servicers and investment funds.

Exactly how many people AMS might end up hiring from the call center is not yet clear. But AMS is one of several companies that will meet with the call center’s employees on June 28 to discuss their respective job openings.

“It’s really a matter of getting out to people in the market and saying, ‘We have some really good employees, are you hiring?’ ” said Tom Kelly, a JPMorgan Chase spokesman.

JPMorgan Chase reached to out to some of the companies that are coming in to talk to employees; in other cases, the contact came in reverse fashion. Either way, the participating companies have the advantage of meeting with prospective new hires all in one location, Kelly said.

“Our goal is to help them transition,” he said. “They’ve done good work for us.”

JPMorgan Chase has also arranged a separate session with the call center workers just for AMS on June 26. AMS, located on Walden Avenue, is part of Long Island-based Arbor Commercial Mortgage. Arbor acquired AMS Servicing, formerly Loan Servicing Solutions, in 2008.

“Foreclosure is the choice of last resort for everyone involved, and AMS Servicing works closely with its borrowers to keep them in their home,” AMS said in a statement on its website. An Arbor spokesman could not be reached to comment Friday.

Other employers are also showing interest in JPMorgan Chase’s employees. Claims Recovery Financial Services, which has two locations in Orleans County, is looking to add more than 170 people to its workforce. And Yahoo expects to hire 125 customer care workers in the area, according to JPMorgan Chase. A Yahoo spokesperson could not be reached to comment Friday.

The Albion call center, which has survived several ownership changes, is the victim of a changing economy: JPMorgan Chase says fewer customers are falling behind on their mortgages, so the company needs fewer people to work with them.

But the prospect of more than 400 jobs vanishing at the village’s largest employer prompted Sen. Charles Schumer and Rep. Chris Collins to get involved.

“In working with JPMorgan Chase, we have tried to identify local companies that have an immediate need for the type of workers that will be displaced with the closing of the call center,” said Grant Loomis, a spokesman for Collins.

Loomis said the primary goal is to help the displaced workers find new jobs. But Loomis said another goal is to help find another user for the office space JPMorgan Chase will vacate in Albion.