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PLAINS TWP., PA-C3i Inc., a Morristown, NJ-based customer relationship management service firm, has signed a 10-year lease for 25,000 sf in the Corporate Center at East Mountain, which is owned by Wilkes-Barre-based Mericle Commercial Real Estate Services. C3i will convert the office space into its domestic call center, which is being relocated from the Morristown headquarters.

This is welcome relief to approximately 300 employees who worked at a Herndon, VA-based RCN Corp. facility here and got a pink slip this spring. C3i is not only taking over some of the former RCN space, but also currently recruiting and training from that company’s previous job pool for an initial 100 employees. It has committed to hiring more than 129 additional employees here within three years.

The cost of C3i lease and leasehold improvements is $4 million, and Gov. Ed Rendell’s action team has assembled a $1.5-million package of incentives for the project. It includes a $400,000 opportunity grant, $160,000 in customized job training funds and $458,000 in job creation tax credits. In addition, C3i is eligible to apply for a loan of up to $500,000 through the state’s machinery and equipment loan fund.

C3i targets its CRM services to life science companies. Joel Morse, CEO and co-founder, says the company “looked all over the country, but selected the Northeast Pennsylvania area because of the quality of labor and overall business climate.” He credits the commonwealth with “making the business case work.”

Rendell says in a statement that “we have more than 2,000 companies with some 84,000 people working in the life sciences industry here in the state. Our targeted investments strengthen Pennsylvania’s position as a global leader in life sciences.”

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