ORANGEBURG, NY — In response to Verizon Wireless' record-breaking customer growth, the company announced today it plans to invest more than $10 million to expand its Information Technology center in Orangeburg, NY. The facility, where the company has been located since 1991, is also the regional headquarters for New York Metro operations. The Information Technology center, which completed a significant expansion last year, will expand further in 2004. The Information Technology center is one of just three such national hubs for the company. Verizon Wireless also has secured a $300,000 federal grant to provide additional training for its IT staff based in Rockland. The grant is given to companies to provide high-tech training for Information Technology employees.
The company also announced that to facilitate the expansion and better position itself to keep ahead of its strong customer growth over the last several quarters, it will relocate the customer service and customer financial services positions currently in Orangeburg and Morristown, NJ, to two new state-of-the-art call centers in the United States. One of the new centers is the company's recently announced $29 million Wilmington, North Carolina call center, which will staff up to 1,200 employees.
Details of the second call center will be announced later this year, once finalized. When fully staffed, the two new centers will generate a net gain of customer service jobs serving customers from Maine to Virginia, and will reduce the company's reliance on outsourcing.
To help employees relocate to the new centers, or secure other positions within the company, employees affected by this relocation are eligible for a $10,000, after-tax, lump sum incentive.
"Verizon Wireless is going through a period of tremendous customer growth. In response, we are expanding our customer service operation by opening two new centers, and expanding our IT presence in Rockland. At the same time, relocating our customer service and customer financial service teams to the new North Carolina center facilitates this much-needed expansion and will best serve our customers' needs now and in the future," said Eileen Creeden, Verizon Wireless vice president, customer service, Northeast. "While we could have located our new facility almost anywhere, the people we worked with in North Carolina made the decision easy. Unlike other states, including New Jersey, North Carolina provided us with $10 million in incentives and made us feel welcome in every possible way."
The company also is expanding its call centers in other states in the Northeast, which will result in more than 300 jobs in Upstate New York, Connecticut and Maryland. Verizon Wireless also is adding another 300 customer service positions this year in Arizona. The new $20 million complex will combine both the company's Desert Mountain Region sales headquarters and its Tempe-based customer service center. The company also plans to add about 600 positions at its Salt Lake City customer service center this year, and has hired more than 1,000 employees in its Murfreesboro, TN, call center, which is dedicated to local number portability transactions. In 2003, Verizon Wireless expanded its customer service operations nationwide by 1,600 employees.
Verizon Wireless employs 6,000 employees in New York and New Jersey. The region also is home to the company's national and Northeast operations headquarters. Verizon Wireless also operates more than 70 company-owned retail Communications Stores in the area. Over the last three years, the company has invested close to $1 billion in its New York and northern New Jersey wireless networks to offer customers the most reliable wireless voice and data service in the region.
About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless is the nation's leading provider of wireless communications. The company has the largest nationwide wireless voice and data network and 37.5 million customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com. To receive broadcast-quality video footage of Verizon Wireless operations, log onto www.thenewsmarket.com/verizonwireless.####