Students at the University of Nevada Reno are providing a new labor pool for a major corporation.
International Game Technology employs 5,000 people around the world, but its "help" desk telephone operation wasn't providing the service the company needed.
Company CIO Don Hopkins says he considered moving the call center overseas.
“For too long people have been focused on going out and doing outsourcing as a way to achieve lower costs or increase the number of people they have,” Hopkins says.
Instead, Hopkins decided to hire students at the University of Nevada, Reno and tap into the younger generation's technology skills and flexible hours.
“We were looking for kids that had some technology skills, but in some cases the kids that had really good technology skills were not in a technology track at the university," he says. "They had other areas, but we were looking at their technology skills.”
Now, the call center is on campus, with 20 students who work between classes.
“It gave us a lot of flexibility in scheduling for peaks and it actually improved our performance," he says.
Hopkins says the company was able to save 10 percent with its student workers. It doubled call center hours and improved answering times. The number of "hang ups" dropped from five percent to one percent, and the problem-solving success rate increased from 65 to 74 percent.
He says the UNR student call center model can be duplicated by other companies in cities with major universities.
Windy, dry conditions that have raised the threat of wildfires in Nevada has prompted the National Weather Service to issue a red flag warning for most of the northern half of the state into Tuesday.
Marijuana is rolling into dispensaries again in Nevada after the state licensed two distributors. But those are the only two for the entire state.
(AP) - Gov. Brian Sandoval has authorized state regulators to consider emergency rules that would allow officials to determine whether the state has enough marijuana distributors to keep its retail shops supplied.
Recreational marijuana may not be on the menu in Nevada as planned in just 10 days. On Tuesday, a Carson City judge ruled there is a problem with getting pot from point “A” to point “B.”
(AP) - Nevada is lowering the age requirement for permits to carry concealed weapons to 18 for active-duty soldiers and honorably discharged veterans.