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eSupportNow will begin opening its West Coast operations in Oakland this fall, and expects to be employing 350 in the city by the end of the year.

The two-year old Boston-based company has signed a 10-year lease for 18,000 sf along Pardee Drive, near the (Networks Associates) Oakland Coliseum. General manager Jerry Hinch says the company plans to ramp up quickly to 350 workers at the site by the end of 2000.

The company recognized expansion was essential soon after it landed its first major client, Priceline.com, in early 1999. By mid 1999, the Bay Area was becoming the focus.

A strong labor pool, reasonably priced real estate and mass transit options were positives for the area, Hinch said.

Bruce Kern, executive director of Economic Development Alliance for Business, said 20 sites in the East Bay were initially presented to a site locator working on eSupportNow’s behalf.

“The city of Oakland was very much interested in giving us the warm welcome,” he said. “The city gave us representatives to help us with various issue we might face.”

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