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Wheeling service firm begins expansion hiring

Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register photo by Scott McCloskey Subodh Sharma, operations director for Williams Lea Americas, gives a tour of their offices following a Wednesday ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register photo by Scott McCloskey
Subodh Sharma, operations director for Williams Lea Americas, gives a tour of their offices following a Wednesday ribbon-cutting ceremony.

WHEELING, W.Va. — Williams Lea Group officials today plan to begin hiring the 100 new workers they need for their expanding operations inside the downtown Wheeling Stone Center, as the company that performs business services for numerous law firms and banks continues growing.

On Wednesday, company leaders joined Wheeling Mayor Andy McKenzie, Regional Economic Development Partnership Executive Director Don Rigby, Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce President Erikka Storch and others to cut the ribbon for the opening of an additional 11,250 square feet of space on the fifth floor of the large building once home to the Stone & Thomas department store.

The group includes Williams Lea, which dubs itself a business process outsourcing company, and Tag Worldwide, a brand services agency.

The company, which already occupies about 50,000 square feet of space at the Stone Center, needs more proofreaders, document service workers, financial analysts, switchboard operators, graphic designers and more. It is slated to hold a recruitment fair from 2-6 p.m. today at its office at 1030 Main St., Wheeling.

“The old original Williams Lea is a business process outsourcing company. We take a business process a firm is running itself and they outsource it to us and we run it better for you,” said Ray Krienke, head of global managed services for Williams Lea Americas. “Sometimes people say, ‘are you are a law firm?’ We are not a law firm – we provide services to law firms. … They are long-term contracts. The typical term is a five-year contract and typically those contracts get renewed.”

In addition to law firms, other sectors that use Williams Lea include banks, pharmaceutical companies and financial services organizations.

Krienke said because of the good work those at the Wheeling center good work are doing, companies are asking more of Williams Lea, resulting in the need for more employees. The number of employees has increased steadily, he said, since it opened there in 2006, when 104 people were hired. During the past year, 43 workers have been promoted internally. He said in the beginning, the core work conducted in Wheeling was proofreading and editing documents for clients around the world.

“With those existing clients, they said ‘can you do these other things for us.’ They said ‘can you also help with our payroll function or my billing function,'” he said.

Now, companies want help with even the smallest tasks. For example, one firm has outsourced its switchboard operation to Wheeling.

“For us, Wheeling is our on-shore in the U.S. production delivery sector and our only center of such type in the U.S.,” he said.

He said Tag Worldwide, which offers creative and artistic graphic design services, is expanding quickly. Williams Lea recently acquired this firm, which also operates on the fifth floor in Wheeling.

Krienke said employees typically stay at the Wheeling location for about three years.

“We have a huge investment in training and development. … When people join us, there is opportunity to work in a specific field and change to a different area of expertise,” Krienke said.

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