To be a trainer for a company with customers across the country by the age of 19, Lexi Norris has every right to be proud.  Wayne Payne, owner of OmniCall Receptionists, brought Lexi on board when she was a sophomore at Villa Rica High School and needed a part time job. The Carroll County School System’s College and Career Academy was his connection for temporary staffing.
“We partnered to hire some students once in a while,” Payne said. “But our vice president of operations recognized right away that we could utilize this workforce. He saw the potential of long-term, part-time help who might start with us in high school, move on to college but still need part time work, and possibly be with us for four to five years.”
At first, Lexi fit that employee model. However, she has evolved into an indispensable full time staff member responsible for training both new and current employees.
“I problem solve and interact with the operators all day long,” Lexi explained. “I have to understand how to approach employees so that they don’t feel threatened when we need to discuss how to do something differently.” As a company that promises friendly, professional receptionists to handle business calls from a wide variety of customers, on-going training is a must. Answering calls from around the world for Southwire requires a different skill set from answering calls from a grieving relative for a funeral home. Every OmniCall receptionist must possess the complete package of skills and Lexi is on hand to provide this specialized training.
“Positivity – that’s what I teach,” she said. “There is nothing you can’t do after this type of work. Learning how to speak properly, how to respond in a professional manner – these are skills you can take anywhere.” Payne has nothing but praise for his partnership with the College and Career Academy. “They do the screening for us with an understanding of the type of student we can use. We get very bright workers and several of them have gone on to work with us full time. Of course, we think we get the best!”

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This excerpt of SmartWorks – a publication of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce and Carroll Tomorrow, in collaboration with Workforce Education Task Force – was originally published in October 2016.  Read the entire publication here –