Verizon Wireless To Expand Columbia, South Carolina, Call Center; Company To Hire More Than 250 New Employees This Year

COLUMBIA, SC — Verizon Wireless, operator of the nation's most reliable wireless network, is expanding its Columbia call center and will hire more than 250 new full-time employees in 2005. The center, located in the Richland Mall, will increase 27,000 square feet, to 164,000 square feet. Construction is underway and is expected to be complete by the end of summer. Strong customer growth and the availability of a skilled local talent pool are the main drivers of the center's continuing expansion, according to Ray Auch, director of Customer Service for the center.

The new jobs will be a combination of customer service representatives, and supervisory, technical and data support positions. Individuals interested in applying for center jobs can call 1-800-575-HIRE and reference code A7CB for customer service representative positions, A73B for customer service supervisor positions, or visit The company offers a competitive salary and benefits package including medical, dental and vision coverage; participation in the company's 401k program with dollar for dollar match up to 6% of salary; tuition reimbursement; an annual bonus program for non-sales employees; profit-sharing; and a long-term incentive program similar to stock options.

"The expansion of the Columbia call center is a direct result of Verizon Wireless' record-breaking growth in 2004," said Auch. "As our customer base grows, we need more skilled customer service representatives to serve them. We've been extremely fortunate to find such high-quality talent in the Columbia area as we've grown our local call center. The level of skill they've demonstrated providing outstanding service to our customers is a great example of the company's Customers First culture and focus on customer satisfaction."

The center is expanding for the second time since opening five years ago with 250 employees. More than 1,300 employees are currently housed in the center and the number is expected to grow to up to 1,600 by the end of the year.

Verizon Wireless has a strong presence in South Carolina, with more than 4,500 employees. The company operates call centers in Greenville and North Charleston, 21 Communications Stores and five Verizon Wireless stores at Circuit City. Verizon Wireless is ranked 25th on the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce's "Big 50" employer list and the Columbia call center is ranked among the top 30 largest employers in the Midlands region. In 2004, the company invested more than $60 million in its wireless network in South Carolina and more than $4 billion nationwide to continue to provide customers with the most reliable wireless network.

A Great Place to WorkVerizon Wireless is consistently ranked as one of the best places to work in the country because of its employee-friendly policies. In 2004, the company was named one of Working Mother magazine's "100 Best Companies for Working Mothers" for the fourth year in a row. Health Magazine named the company one of 10 U.S. employers revolutionizing workplaces to help women balance their professional and personal responsibilities.

For four consecutive years, Verizon Wireless has been named one of the nation's top 100 companies by Training magazine for its continued commitment to employee development and for connecting its training programs to business objectives. This year the company ranked 14th on the magazine's annual list of the "Top 100 Training Organizations in America" — announced last week — and was the highest ranked wireless service provider.

Record Setting PerformanceVerizon Wireless' 2004 performance set industry records for customer growth and retention. The company added more than 6.3 million net new customers during the year, posted the lowest churn/highest customer retention in its history, and continued its record of strong profitability.

About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 43.8 million voice and data 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 To receive broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at