West to Shut Illinois Call Center

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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