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Local, state officials welcome Econec

By By ROBERT BLANKENSHIP – Managing Editor
Smiles and handshakes were the order of the day as local and state government and economic development leaders met in Brewton to welcome Econec, Inc. The internet company officially announced during the press conference that it plans to open a high-tech call center in Brewton that will employ 175 people.
Gary Stanley, president of Econec, said he choose Brewton over other cities such as Tucson, Ariz., Tampa, Fla., Birmingham and New York because of the quality of life, low cost of living, low crime rate and a readily available work force.
Representatives from the Alabama Technology Network, the South Alabama Economic Development Partnership and Alabama Development Office were on hand at the press conference. Stanley said all of those who worked to bring the project to Brewton deserve congratulations.
Brewton Mayor Ted Jennings said it was a tough fight to make sure Brewton landed the call center. He added that new technologies are allowing rural communities to open their doors to new economic opportunities.
Neal Wade, director of the Alabama Development Office said he was impressed with the teamwork displayed in bringing the call center to Brewton and that it should be an example for other communities.
Stanley also introduced those in attendance to the Econec line of products. Currently, the company has approximately 1 million customers throughout the U.S. and in Canada and Mexico. The company currently services Brewton as an Internet Service Provider (ISP). They are currently patenting a content delivery system that will allow information to target particular geographic and demographic areas. Through the call center, Econec will be providing customer services for other high-tech internet companies and establishing broadband internet access to rural communities.
Econec is currently housing their call center at the Alabama Technology Network (ATN) - another advantage in bringing the business to Brewton. Instead of waiting for their facility in the Brewton Plaza shopping center to undergo renovations, ATN was able to provide them resources to go forward with the call center.
Stanley said salaries for employees at the call center will vary - anywhere from $7 to $15 per hour - depending on experience. He said the company will hire 175 people over a period of about three years. He expects the permanent facility will be available in mid-August.