Bell Atlantic On Track to Bring 200 New Jobs to Charleston

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

Media contacts:

Paul Miller


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

repair visit.

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.