Bell Atlantic on Track to Bring 200 New Jobs to Charleston
New Customers Call in to 'Warm, Friendly' West Virginians
at Company's Welcome Center
November 13, 1997
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Bell Atlantic today began delivery on its
commitment to bring 200 new jobs to Charleston, officially opening its
new Welcome Center in downtown Charleston. Employees at the facility,
located at 408 Broad St., already are taking calls from new Bell
Atlantic customers as far away as New Jersey.
"It's appropriate that the first voices our new customers hear are
those of West Virginians," said Dennis Bone, president and CEO of Bell
Atlantic-West Virginia. "The people of this state are warm, friendly
and downright hospitable. That's the very image that we at Bell
Atlantic want to convey each and every day."
Ted Armbrecht, vice president of Charleston Renaissance, assisted in
cutting a ribbon to open the center. "This is a great day for
Charleston and the Kanawha Valley," he said. "Bell Atlantic has been
extremely active over the years in attracting new industry to the
state. Now they've brought some of their own, 200 new jobs to
Charleston just in time for the holidays. And this move further
supports the rebuilding of Charleston's east end, a move that is vital
to our city's future."
Tom Burns, executive director of the West Virginia Development Office
and a past CEO of Bell Atlantic-West Virginia, said, "This new office
is another terrific example of what the Office of the Future
partnership with Bell Atlantic has accomplished. And, on a personal
note, I am pleased to see Bell Atlantic continue its commitment to the
State of West Virginia."
Bell Atlantic's partnership in West Virginia's Office of the Future
project has attracted more than 12,000 new jobs in
information-intensive industries to the state.
While the official opening was today, the center has been operating on
a limited basis for several months, as it increases staff. Employees
at the center establish accounts, and verify credit information and
addresses, for those customers ordering phone service from Bell
Atlantic for the first time. Presently, the center is handling calls
from New Jersey customers. However, calls from customers in other
mid-Atlantic states will begin flowing into the center in the near
Larry Grant, Bell Atlantic vice president-receivables management, also
joined in the celebration. "Handling this work from a specialized
center makes it easier for new customers to sign up for Bell
Atlantic's services," Grant said. "Consultants in our residential
sales and service centers currently perform credit screening in
addition to setting up a new subscriber's phone service. The
consultants at these centers will now be able to focus their time on
helping new customers choose the telecommunications services that best
fit their lifestyles."
Bone noted that Bell Atlantic and its employees are "refocusing and
recommitting our resources to providing the very best customer care."
The company recently adopted an eight-point service policy that
includes assuring customer satisfaction on every installation and
In addition, Bell Atlantic has launched a marketing campaign featuring
artwork from "Where the Wild Things Are," a well-known children's book
by Maurice Sendak. In the campaign advertising, the animated "Wild
Things" help customers find their way through the communications
The Charleston Welcome Center is expected to receive 1.1 million calls
a year from new Bell Atlantic customers. The calls will be handled
over an advanced telecommunications network that Bell Atlantic has
been aggressively deploying throughout the Mountain State.
Bone said Bell Atlantic was inundated with applications for employment
following the company's July announcement that the center would be
based in Charleston. The center will have 100 employees by year's
end, and new employees are currently being trained. The facility will
reach its full capacity of 200 by June 1998.
The Charleston Welcome Center is one of two facilities that will
handle such calls from new customers in Delaware, Maryland, New
Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C.
The other will be located in Ewing Township, N.J.
The new Bell Atlantic - formed through the merger of Bell Atlantic and
NYNEX - is at the forefront of the new communications, information and
entertainment industry. With 40 million telephone access lines and
5.5 million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are
premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market
leaders in wireless services and the world's largest publishers of
directory information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the
world's largest investors in high-growth global communications
markets, with operations and investments in 21 countries.