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Entrepreneur Tom Henderson Creates Jobs for Oakland Residents




In the current economic struggle where people are vying for jobs, and the unemployment rate remains high, CallSocket is an Oakland company that stands out for its commitment to hiring Oakland residents and providing them with decent pay and health benefits, as well as opportunities to move up in the company.

Owned by entrepreneur Tom Henderson, the company has a staff of 123 employees in its call center, mostly Oakland residents, who handle call-in and call-out campaigns for businesses such as ADT, DeVry University, and others.

The company, which pays $14 an hour and provides Kaiser health coverage, is preparing to hire 50 new employees by September.

“The first priority is to hire Oakland residents,” said Henderson, who runs multiple businesses including CallSocket through his company San Francisco Regional Center (SFRC).

Operating on three floors at the Tribune tower in downtown Oakland, the company provides a creative and positive environment and room for growth for its workers.

When Team Manager Starr Ivery started working at CallSocket in January, she was employed as a customer service agent.

She has a resume packed with experience repairing computers, working for big companies like AT&T and even at the Mayor’s Office when Lionel Wilson was mayor.

However, hard hit by the latest job crisis, she was close to be being homeless when she landed what she has found to be an ideal position at CallSocket.

After three months on the job, she was promoted to her current position as a team manager providing training and support for eight agents.

“Call Socket is like a family. Here you’re allowed to be who you are and you bring your personality to the phone,” Ivery said.

While it’s hard to keep companies in Oakland, she said, it’s good “to find a place like Call Socket that believed in hiring and keeping business in Oakland when everyone is running from here.”

CallSocket is a company that is all about exponential growth, said Sabrina Baptiste-Shepard, Vice President of Human Resources at CallSocket.

“It’s really important when you’re dealing with people who are either underemployed or unemployed, you have to support them in making the transition so they can be successful,” Baptiste-Shepard said.

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