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The new Direct Energy call center in Tempe, Ariz., is shown. (KTAR Photo/Bob McClay)

PHOENIX -- The "help wanted" sign is up in the East Valley.

Direct Energy opened a new call center in Tempe on Thursday. Direct Energy President Scott Boose said the company hopes to employ up to 500 people.

"We're hiring anywhere from entry-level folks coming on board here to supervisors and managers in each functional area, as well as IT, quality training and account management," he said.

The company produces natural gas in Canada and electricity in Texas.

"We'll be selling and offering customer care to residents," said Steven Murray, Direct Energy's Residential President. "Unfortunately, we won't be selling to customers in Arizona yet. That's because the market here is no deregulated. We fully expect and hope that it will be in the next year or so."

Murray said it was tax incentives and a highly skilled workforce that led the company to open the call center here.

Job listings will be posed on Direct Energy's website.

Bob McClay, Reporter

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