Company Brings 500 Jobs To East Texas - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

11/20/06-Longview

Company Brings 500 Jobs To East Texas

An international company announces it's expanding operations to Longview, bringing good news for the local economy and local unemployed workers. Recent layoffs by Goodyear and Tyler Pipe, mean hundreds of East Texans are now looking for employment.  With Monday's announcement, 100 jobs will need to be filled as early as March and that is just the beginning, eventually it will mean 500 jobs for Longview.

The company is called Convergys and it deals mainly with customer care through calling centers.  It's not a manufacturing company like Goodyear, but all in all, it's still welcome news.

"All in favor? Say Aye...Passed" 

With just one word, it became official. A global company is headed to Longview, bringing all the benefits with it. 

"These jobs are very good jobs, particularly entry level positions," says John Stroud, Executive Director of the Longview Economic Development Corporation.

Convergys will be setting up a customer service call center, serving major companies like Time Warner and ATT&T.

Construction is set to begin next month, turning the old Office Depot into the new contact Center, which will ultimately bring 500 new jobs to Longview. 

"These are the kind of jobs that every community would like to have," Stroud says.

Convergys chose Longview, not only bringing more jobs with it, but also an increase in the city's tax base and more local spending.

"It was a good strategic location for them, but the main reason was the workforce," Stroud says.

A workforce that is all too ready and willing to get to work. 

"I myself am looking for a job especially in this field, there's not many call centers in Longview," says Lakesha Rollins.

"Being that the Goodyear plant in Tyler's closing and Tyler Pipe just had a major layoff, we need all the jobs we can in this area to help those people secure stability for their families and get back to work," says Theo Carpenter, a former Goodyear employee.

It's a possibility, within the next six months--that's because the company says it plans to start hiring as early as March.

The East Texas Workforce Center is accepting applications for these jobs starting Tuesday. Convergys says nearly all of the new jobs will be filled locally. The calling center will be fully operational by March of 2008. That's when all 500 employees will be there. But they hope to have around 300 employees by the end of their first year.

Tracy Watler/Reporting: tracy@kltv.com.  

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