Call Center Openings: Verizon Wireless to Open $42 Million Facility

Verizon Wireless will open a $42 million customer call center in West Valley City, UT, as part of a companywide $100 million reorganization of its call center operations.

The center will create 1,000 new jobs and will serve the company's customers in Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana.

The 120,000-square-foot call center will be equipped with more than 800 workstations and about 200 training stations. Bedminster, NJ -based Verizon Wireless will begin operations in West Valley City at a temporary location on May 1 and will take the first call at the permanent location in July.

Verizon Wireless also will move its Greenville, SC, call center to a $38 million facility in Mauldin, SC. As part of the move, the center's 400 employees will be expanded by 750 employees. The Mauldin center is expected to open in early 2002.

Other companies opening call centers are:

Access Direct, Cedar Rapids, IA. They opened a call center this month in Des Moines, IA, to fulfill new client contracts. The call center is capable of employing 250 to 275 people and will be fully staffed by the end of May. The call center is Access' eighth and its second in Des Moines. Other locations include Jacksonville, FL; Wilmington, DE; and Cedar Rapids, North Liberty, Marshalltown and Ames, IA. Access, a call center service company, employs about 1,200 people.

ATX Technologies, Dallas, announced plans this month to open a new call center in 2002. The company is seeking a location in the central or southeastern United States and expects to decide by the end of the third quarter this year. The center will handle voice and data communications for the telematics company, which provides wireless, in-vehicle communications for automotive customers. The facility will employ 150 to 200 people. ATX has one call center in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Bell Tech.logix, Indianapolis, said it was preparing to open a customer contact center. The company, which announced its plans earlier this month, has a five-year lease on an 18,500-square-foot facility in north Indianapolis. The center will house customer and technical support agents and will be capable of handling voice, fax and e-mail communications. The facility also includes an on-site training center for agents. Bell Tech.logix is a business group of Bell Industries and provides technology solutions for middle-market organizations.

DynCorp, Reston, VA, signed a contract this month to open and operate a call center for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. The center will be in Wausa, NE, and will have a staff of 30. The three-year contract, worth $3.9 million, will begin in August and includes options for two three-year renewals. The center will perform contact services for the department's child support enforcement unit. DynCorp is an information technology and outsourcing solutions firm with 23,000 employees worldwide.

Farmers Insurance, Los Angeles, opened a 100,000-square-foot call center in Oklahoma City last month. The center, which will be used for customer service and claims processing, will employ 1,100 when fully staffed and will operate 24 hours a day. The company said the center can handle 5 million inbound calls per day from Farmers Insurance policyholders. The center has an annual payroll of $13 million. The company will receive a $20 million tax credit from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce if it fulfills its payroll promises.

HomeGold, Greenville, SC, will open a new call center in Phoenix. The financial services company will use the center to market mortgage loans. It is scheduled to open in April. The center is expected to employ more than 100 people. HomeGold also announced plans last month to expand its Cincinnati call center, which opened in September. The center's staff of 46 will be doubled, the company said. HomeGold employs about 870 people across the United States.

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