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Verizon Wireless Adds 380 Jobs to Alabama Call Center
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Verizon Wireless Adds 380 Jobs to Alabama Call Center

June 22, 2009
By Amy Tierney
TMCnet Web Editor

Verizon Wireless is giving the economy a little boost with 380 jobs at a Huntsville, Ala. call center.  The company began adding the entry-level customer service worker positions to its 152,000-square-foot Verizon (News - Alert) facility in Thornton Research Park in January, according to a report in The Huntsville Times.

Call center employees handle customer service, technical support, government customer service and corporate sales functions, the newspaper said. The additional jobs would bring the number of call center employees to 1,242 by yearend, according to the report.
Verizon offers a 7-week training program for new employees. Those who complete the program then have a 12-week transition period during which they start taking calls with assistance, the Times reported. The entry-level salary is $27,000 a year, excluding benefits, the report said.
“This is probably our last great push to fill the center," Jeremiah Knight, the center's director, told The Huntsville Times. “Our target is to get all of them on the payroll and fully trained and ready to provide service to our customers by the end of the year.”
The economic downturn is prompting more companies to be selective in choosing what employees to hire, TMCnet reported. Companies can take a number of steps to improve call center hiring, including understand its goals andhire only those candidates who meet the requirements.
“In the current economic environment, employers can be choosy,” Mike Fowler, the senior employment service manager at the Alabama Career Center System office in Huntsville, told the Times. "It's definitely an employers' market."
Verizon joins other wireless providers that have recently ramped up call center hiring. Sprint earlier this year announced it hired additional customer service agents for its Rio Ranchero, New Mexico contact center, according to TMCnet. These agents were to be added to the 800 employees already working at the facility. The effort was designed to help Sprint (News - Alert) improve its customer experience. 
According to a recent report from FurstPerson, a Chicago-based company that helps call center hiring managers hire and keep call center employees, call center hiring volume was expected to increase this year, TMCnet reported.

Amy Tierney is a Web editor for TMCnet, covering unified communications, telepresence, IP communications industry trends and mobile technologies. To read more of Amy’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Michael Dinan

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