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Jobs ‘outsourced’ to reservation

Oregon company thinks locally

MISSION, Ore. – More than six years ago, a start-up company opened in a triple-wide trailer in Mission with 22 employees.

The three bedrooms served as the business office, a recruiting and an interview room, and a boardroom made use of the kitchen table. The living room was the site for training classes. Luckily, there was one bathroom for men and one for women.

Cayuse Technologies has been on an upward trend since it was founded on Jan. 2, 2007. It currently employs 298 people.

“We operated out of that facility and continued to grow,” General Manager Mary McCord said. “Our first 100 people came through the triple-wide.”

Cayuse’s model was unique: outsourcing rurally, rather than going to India or other offshore locations. It used the talent pool from the area while being strategically located, for tax purposes, on a reservation.

“Back in 2005, there were so many companies that were pushing work offshore,” McCord said. “Outsourcing was at a peak.”

Randy Willis – McCord’s former boss and the managing director of Accenture Ltd. – had been researching the idea of rural outsourcing. He looked at American Indian tribes across the country.

Willis and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla County Indian Reservation came to a five-year agreement. Cayuse Technologies opened business three weeks later.

It went from 22 employees to 98 by the end of the first year. The company still worked out of that trailer for more than a year until the new facility was built. The state-of-the-art building – off Canyon Road near Wildhorse Resort & Casino – has the capacity for 410 employees.

Cayuse has come a long way from conducting board meetings in a trailer bedroom.

“I don’t think the atmosphere is much different now than it was then because everyone is so friendly,” said Karol Moore, who has worked at Cayuse for more than five years. “Of course, it was a lot smaller. We had a lot more parking spots, and the bathrooms weren’t quite as busy.”

McCord said the company wanted its growth to be a stable progression, never adding more than 70 employees in a year.

Cayuse Technologies has three main service offerings: application outsourcing (development and maintenance of software programs), business process outsourcing (secretarial support and services for executive clients) and infrastructure outsourcing (help desk).


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