Verizon Wireless Begins Work On High-Tech Customer Service Center In Tennessee

BEDMINSTER, NJ — Verizon Wireless, the nation's largest wireless service provider, has begun work at a Murfreesboro, Tenn., shopping mall that will transform the facility into the company's newest high-tech customer service center.  The new center will improve the company's responsiveness to its existing base of over 33 million customers and prepare it for future customer growth as well as new service offerings. 

Slated to open in October 2003, the state-of-the-art facility — which could employ more than 1,200 by the end of 2005 — is the result of cooperation between company, state, and county elected officials, as well as business leaders.

"This new facility will be an important extension of our superior customer service capability," said Lowell McAdam, Verizon Wireless Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. "While we could have located our new facility almost anywhere, the people we worked with in Tennessee made the decision easy.  The workforce is well-trained, the governor has provided strong incentive with his economic development plan, and we have been made to feel welcome in every possible way."

 Verizon Wireless will initially employ more than 400 people when the 158,220-square-foot facility opens in October, with plans to grow to approximately 1,250 employees by the end of 2005. Total investment in the project totals $24 million. 

The call center has been designed with the ultimate in employee comfort and productivity in mind. Modular furniture and flat screen computers will give the center a sleek and modern look, while an internal television network will be used to provide up to the minute communications with employees. A full-service cafeteria is also part of the design. 

Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Matthew Kisber said the high-paying jobs provided by the customer service center will be a boon to Middle Tennessee and to the Murfreesboro economy. 

"We are extremely proud that a world-class technology company such as Verizon Wireless has chosen to locate a new facility in Tennessee," Kisber said. "The positive economic impact and jobs created by this announcement are precisely the type of businesses we are working to grow and recruit." 

The Verizon Wireless announcement fits squarely into Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen's broader "Jobs Cabinet" strategy to recruit high-quality jobs in existing industries and companies. Verizon Wireless has an existing customer call center in Nashville. This initiative also falls in line with Verizon Wireless' workforce development initiative to provide high-paying jobs and outstanding benefits to employees.

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 33.3 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