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July 24, 2006

Verizon closing C.R. call center

(Gazette, The (Cedar Rapids, IA) (KRT) Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) Jul. 24--Verizon Communications will close its call center at 323 Third St. SE in Cedar Rapids in September, idling about 200 employees.

Lynn Staggs, a Verizon media relations spokeswoman, said employees were told this morning that the center, which supports small business customers, will close Sept. 22.

"This was a difficult, but necessary decision," Staggs said, citing the "competitive landscape" in telecommunications. She said the affected workers were "very tenured employees with excellent technical skills."

The Verizon call center handled inbound calls from customers. Staggs said many of the services have been automated in recent years and customers are able to access services through Web portals.

The closing of the former MCI call center will leave about 800 Verizon employees in Iowa. Staggs was unable to provide a figure for the number of Verizon employees remaining in Cedar Rapids.

She said Verizon will continue to have information technology support and conference center employees in Cedar Rapids.

Verizon acquired MCI in January. At that time, the former MCI operations in Cedar Rapids employed about 1,050.


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