CALL CENTER OPENINGS: American Water Works Plans National Center

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American Water Works Co., Voorhees, NJ, said this month that it plans to locate its new national call center in Alton, IL. The center will employ 325 people, who will begin training in February. The center will be operational by the second quarter of 2001. It will provide support services to American Water Works' 10 million customers in 23 states.

• British Airways, London, said this month that it plans to open a telephone sales center in Jacksonville, FL. The call center, which will handle the airline's U.S. sales, will employ 500 people and will be managed by Flytele, a British Airways subsidiary. It is scheduled to open in March.

• Computer Generated Solutions, New York, opened a 42,000-square-foot call center this month in Tampa, FL. The center will house 400 agents when it is fully staffed and will feature voice, data and video capabilities. The center will provide customer support to the information technology service provider's clients. The company supports 250,000 users and expects to have the capacity to serve double that amount when the call center is fully staffed.

• Lightbridge Inc., Burlington, MA, opened a 28,679-square-foot call center last month in Lynn, MA. The company expects to hire 400 people to staff the new center. It was built to accommodate the customer relationship management solutions provider's growing client base and its increased services to the wireless carrier market.

• Sprint Spectrum L.P., Mahwah, NJ, announced plans for a $1.45 million expansion of its Rio Rancho, NM, call center last month. The expansion will add 20,017 square feet to the 74,245-square-foot center and will include the purchase of 1.9 acres at the 13-acre site. The center will have the capacity to handle an additional 200 employees. The expansion is expected to be complete in January.

•Synergy Solutions, Phoenix, has acquired a customer contact center in Binghamton, NY. The 75-seat center was previously owned by Harris Interactive, Rochester, NY, a marketing research firm. Harris closed the center as part of a companywide consolidation effort. Synergy bought the center and negotiated to hire its work force. Under Synergy's management, the center will perform outbound telemarketing and customer acquisition for clients. Synergy plans to add Web-based customer support capabilities to the center and expand it to include 175 employees by the end of 2001.

• Wells Fargo, San Francisco, said last month that it opened an online call center in Salt Lake City. The company expects to fill hundreds of positions at the new facility. The center will support Wells Fargo's growing online financial services arm.

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