Central Valley call center to close
March 4, 2010
• Nearly 100 to lose their jobs
• ‘We’ll provide lateral mobility if that’s an option’
A call center in Lemoore operated by Communications Services for the Deaf will close June 1, putting as many as 97 people out of work.
The nonprofit Sioux Falls, S.D.-based company opened the center in 2004 with a contract to provide “state relay services” as a subcontractor to Sprint. A “relay service” lets people with regular telephones communicate with hearing impaired or deaf people who use text-generating devices.
But in rebidding the relay service, the state has awarded the contract to AT&T and Hamilton Relay. The companies are expected to use existing call centers outside of California to provide the relay service for hearing-impaired Californians, says Rick Norris, communications director for Communications Services for the Deaf.
“We do have other call centers in other states. We’ll provide lateral mobility if that’s an option for them,” says Mr. Norris about the Lemoore employees.
For those unable or unwilling to move, the company will help with resumes and job fairs, he says. Few of the 97 will get a severance package.
The company operates a different type of call center in Stockton, which provides support for equipment distribution. It employs about the same number of workers as the Lemoore site and is not affected by Lemoore’s closing.
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