NORWAY – L.L. Bean is close to reaching its goal of 300 seasonal employees at its Contact Center in Oxford, a company spokesman said Wednesday.

“We’re closing in on it,” said Rich Donaldson. He did not have the exact number of employees hired so far, but said it was approaching 300.

This year is the second year the Contact Center has been in operation. It receives inbound calls only from customers who want to place an order. Employees answer phone calls and process orders.

Donaldson said training classes begin the last week of October, and employees will work through the week before Christmas. The pay rate is $9.26 per hour, and employees receive paid training plus a discount of 25 percent to 40 percent on most L.L. Bean products at the employee store.

Diane Peet, service representative at the Career Center in Paris, said Wednesday the center has mailed 75 to 100 seasonal employment applications to L.L. Bean in the last week and a half to help the company reach its goal of 300 hires.

The Career Center has been pre-screening seasonal applicants for L.L. Bean.

Peet said people have been filling out applications and taking short math tests, and all applicant material has been mailed to L.L. Bean.

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