Carrie Rengers

300-person call center to open at New Leaf Plaza

A new 300-person call center is opening at New Leaf Plaza at 21st and Amidon.
A new 300-person call center is opening at New Leaf Plaza at 21st and Amidon. The Wichita Eagle

In January, Have You Heard? reported that a new 200-person call center is in the works at New Leaf Plaza at 21st and Amidon.

Things have changed a little since then.

It’s now a 300-person call center.

Norc at the University of Chicago is taking almost 14,000 square feet for what it calls a survey research center.

Norc is a research firm that is affiliated with the university, though it is an independent organization.

Senior external affairs manager Eric Young answered a few questions about the nonprofit via e-mail.

Why did Norc choose Wichita?

“Wichita made our shortlist because the city is the right size, we were impressed by the education standards of the workforce, and it is easily reachable from Chicago. Wichita ended up at the top of our list because of the availability of suitable properties and our location means a shorter commute for our target employees. We also received a warm welcome from the city. When we looked at all the factors involved, it was a pretty easy choice.”

When will the center open?

“It will open on the first of August but we are accepting applications now.”

What will the starting salary be and the average salary?

“The starting salary for interviewers is $10 per hour, $10.50 if the employee is bilingual – Spanish/English. There is the possibility for a pay increase at 6 months and there are also promotion opportunities. We have learned from many years of experience that promoting from within is preferable. Our promote-from-within philosophy is very strong.”

What does “Norc” stand for?

“This is a great question and one I get quite often. We used to be the National Opinion Research Center but since our mission evolved beyond opinion research, although we still do quite a bit of that, and we began to work internationally, we decided to change our name to Norc at the University of Chicago. I usually shorten it to the ‘Norc.’”

Why does the university need a research center? How is the research used?

“We are affiliated with, but independent from the University of Chicago. We work very closely with the University and its faculty and the close relationship has benefited both parties. As for Norc, government, corporate, and nonprofit clients around the world partner with us to transform increasingly complex information into useful knowledge. We work to give decision makers the insight they need to make informed decisions. We conduct research in five main areas: Economics, Markets, and the Workforce; Education, Training, and Learning; Global Development; Health and Well-Being; and Society, Media, and Public Affairs.”

To apply for a job or find out more, check out

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers