West to Shut Illinois Call Center

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West Teleservices will close its call center in Carbondale, IL, in two weeks and cut 180 staffers, The Southern Illinoisan newspaper reported last week.

The outbound-call facility is closing because of insufficient call volume, the newspaper said. Employees received their two-week notices April 9.

Business at the call center has declined for several years, according to the report. West had difficulty finding a long-term client to anchor the center. The Carbondale center was West's only facility in Illinois. West, Omaha, NE, has about 25,000 employees worldwide.

In a financial statement for the first quarter of 2003 last week, West reported three-month revenue of $216.2 million, compared with $210.5 million in the same period last year. Net income was $20.1 million in the quarter compared with $22.6 million last year.

West spent $12.7 million on capital expenditures in the first quarter of 2003, mainly on the expansion of a Canadian inbound center and the construction of a network operations center. The economy and the war with Iraq also affected the company's results for the quarter, Thomas B. Barker, West president/CEO, said in a statement.

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