MAULDIN, SC — South Carolina Gov. Jim Hodges and Commerce Secretary Charles S. Way Jr. were among the guests who today joined Verizon Wireless in celebrating the grand opening of its new Carolinas Regional Headquarters.
Located in the Brookfield Office Park in Mauldin, S.C., just outside of Greenville, the new $38 million, 192,000-square-foot facility was constructed to accommodate a larger customer service call center. The facility is more than three times the size of its predecessor, which comprised 60,000 square feet of office space in Greenville's Patewood Plaza.
"It's exciting to welcome employees and friends to our new home in the Carolinas and to thank the many state and local officials who worked with us to make this new facility possible," said Verizon Wireless Carolinas Region President Jerry Fountain. "With construction now complete, we'll focus on the growth of our customer service call center so that we can continue providing outstanding service to our rapidly growing customer base."
To date, 250 of the 750 jobs to be created by the expansion have been filled by skilled customer service representatives who will answer a growing number of customer calls from the Carolinas. The regional headquarters currently employs nearly 700 people, and it is expected to employ approximately 1,200 people by 2004.
"Today's celebration demonstrates the confidence Verizon Wireless has in South Carolina's economy and capable workforce," said Gov. Hodges. "I congratulate the company for last year's successful expansion of the Columbia Call Center and am thrilled to know that the call center expansion in Mauldin is well underway. Of course, I also couldn't be more pleased that Verizon Wireless will continue to call South Carolina its regional home."
Soon, the facility will serve as regional headquarters for the Carolinas and Tennessee. Verizon Wireless announced last week it will realign its South Area in the next 30 to 60 days to more efficiently manage the area's vast and growing customer base. As part of the realignment, the South Area will consist of five regions, instead of six, with the Mid-South Region being merged into other existing regions. The Tennessee market will transition to the Carolinas to form the Carolinas/Tennessee Region, and the Alabama market is joining the Georgia Region.
The expansion of the customer service call center, which necessitated the construction of the new facility, is part of a nationwide call center plan and part of Verizon Wireless' commitment to continue delivering superior customer service during a period of projected strong growth.
Such growth has been evident in the Carolinas Region, which recently signed its one-millionth customer, Gail Freeman. The company recognized this milestone during the grand opening celebration by presenting Freeman with free monthly access for a year and a hands-free listening device. Shawn Holly, the retail sales representative who assisted Freeman with her purchase, was also recognized for his outstanding sales performance in 2001. Holly works at the company's retail store located on Congaree Road, near the Haywood Mall, in Greenville. The retail store was recognized for being second in retail store sales for the company's entire South Area in 2001.
Today's event was the second Verizon Wireless has hosted during recent months in the Carolinas. Last May, Verizon Wireless announced it expected to create 500 jobs as part of an expansion of its customer service call center located in the Richland Mall near Columbia. All 500 jobs were filled earlier this year.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless is the nation's leading provider of wireless communications and Internet services. The company has the largest nationwide wireless network and 29 million customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Reporters and editors can find more information on the Web at http://www.verizonwireless.com.
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