International Online Travel Company The Priceline Group Plans to Add 562 New Jobs in West Michigan

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The Right Place, in collaboration with The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and the city of Wyoming, announced today the planned expansion of The Priceline Group’s (Nasdaq: PCLN) operations in Wyoming, adding another 562 jobs in the project.

Booking.com

“It is a credit to the multi-lingual skills and work ethic of West Michigan’s workforce that priceline is increasing its investment in our region,” said Susan Jackson, Right Place Vice President of Business Development.

The Right Place, in collaboration with The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and the city of Wyoming, announced today the planned expansion of The Priceline Group’s (Nasdaq: PCLN) operations in Wyoming, adding another 562 jobs in the project.

The Priceline Group is a leader in global online hotel reservations, with over 190,000 participating hotels worldwide. The Group is composed of four primary brands – Booking.com, priceline.com, Agoda.com and TravelJigsaw – and several ancillary brands. The Group provides online travel services in over 110 countries in Europe, North America, South America, the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East and Africa.

The Group established a North American customer service center in Wyoming in 2008. At that time, $7.7 million was invested to refurbish a former Siemens Dematic facility at 4147 Eastern Ave., and create 424 jobs over five years.

Just three years later, the service center houses 386 employees with an additional 253 temporary employees, many of whom are in Priceline’s temp-to-hire program. With increasing business and a need to establish a training center in the Americas, Priceline considered locations in the U.S. western time zone and South America. The Priceline Group operates customer service centers around the world in cities such as Amsterdam, Netherlands; Lille, France; Berlin, Germany; and Cambridge, United Kingdom.

The MEGA approved today is an amendment of the initial MEGA awarded in 2008. The amendment is part of an incentive package that also includes property tax abatements from the city of Wyoming. Together, they convinced priceline.com to recommit and expand in West Michigan. Both the existing and the 562 additional jobs include health benefits, shift and second-language premiums, and annual bonuses for employees.

“It is a credit to the multi-lingual skills and work ethic of West Michigan’s workforce that priceline is increasing its investment in our region,” said Susan Jackson, Right Place Vice President of Business Development. “Jobs with health benefits and incentives such as those offered by priceline are at a premium, and without the skill set available here, and without the collaboration of the MEDC and the city of Wyoming, this success would not have been possible.”

About The Right Place, Inc.
The Right Place, Inc. is a regional non-profit economic development organization founded in 1985 and supported through investments from the private and public sector. Its mission is to promote economic growth in the areas of quality employment, productivity and technology in West Michigan by developing jobs through leading business retention, expansion and attraction efforts. For more information visit: http://www.rightplace.org

About The Priceline Group
The Priceline Group (Nasdaq: PCLN) is a leader in global online hotel reservations, with over 190,000 participating hotels worldwide. The Group is composed of four primary brands – Booking.com, priceline.com, Agoda.com and TravelJigsaw – and several ancillary brands. The Priceline Group provides online travel services in over 110 countries in Europe, North America, South America, the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East and Africa.

Booking.com is the number one online hotel reservation service in the world, offering over 165,000 hotels (as of October 1, 2011), and is available in 43 languages. More recent hotel counts are available on the Booking.com website. Priceline.com gives leisure travelers multiple ways to save on their airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, vacation packages and cruises. In addition to getting compelling published prices, travelers can take advantage of priceline.com’s famous Name Your Own Price® service, which can deliver the lowest prices available. Agoda.com is an Asia-based online hotel reservation service that is available in 37 languages. TravelJigsaw is a multinational car hire service, offering its reservation services in over 4,000 locations. Customer support is provided in 29 languages.

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Tim Mroz
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