PITTSFIELD — When Congressman Mike Michaud toured Argo Marketing Group’s call center Friday, he spoke about the need for elected officials to put aside partisan bickering and help people.

Michaud did just that yesterday afternoon; the call center he toured in Somerset Plaza is owned by Jason Levesque, a Republican who challenged Michaud in 2010 for the 2nd Congressional District seat.

Michaud won re-election with about 55 percent of the votes.

“It’s about what’s right for the country. It’s about the United States of America, not partisan politics,” Michaud said before sitting down with Levesque to see what assistance he could offer the businessman from Auburn.

What’s right for the country, Michaud said, is helping to make sure jobs are available.

Levesque, a U.S. Army veteran, and Michaud, who serves on the House of Representatives Veterans’ Affairs committee, talked about how they could assist veterans in finding jobs.

“When I got out of the Army, I couldn’t find a job,” Levesque said. “We can get adaptive equipment; (disabled) veterans can work from home.”

And Levesque, who started Argo on his couch in 2003, is hiring.

Argo expanded to Pittsfield on Jan. 2, three months after another call center there, Global Contact Services, closed.

Levesque said his initial plan was to hire 50 people by June 1.

But 78 people have already been hired and Levesque said he is looking to increase the staff to 100 by May 1.


“Give me happy people who are willing to work and learn,” Levesque said. “We have such a diversity of products and clients … that we have something for everyone.”

In 60 minutes Friday afternoon, two people interviewed for jobs that pay between $9 and $15 an hour.

The call center is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“It’s all about the consumer experience,” he said. “It’s the little things. We need to make ourselves different than our competitors.”

Employees at Argo are asked to focus on representing the clients’ products and services “as if they were our own” and to treat every customer with a level of service that could be called “concierge level care.”

Employees’ signatures cover a large colorful poster at the front of the room that lists the company’s expectations, including accountability, respect, goals and organization.

Sarah Scott, 18, of Newport, said she has worked at Argo for about two months.

The Nokomis Regional High School graduate said while sometimes the people she contacts are rude, she said she enjoys her co-workers and that the job is easy.

Levesque, who joked that his business is still so small that it writes and issues its own press releases, said he wants to challenge Cianbro as the town’s biggest employer.

Pittsfield Town Manager Kathryn Ruth said she is impressed with Levesque’s energy and vision and is thrilled that he chose Pittsfield for the expansion.

During the tour of the large facility, Levesque presented Michaud with an autographed “Levesque for Congress” sign, who accepted it with a good-natured grin.

Beth Staples — 861-9252

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