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AT&T Bringing Thousands of Tech/Contact Center Jobs Back To U.S.

March 18, 2009

AT&T is close to bringing 5,000 previously outsourced high-tech and contact center jobs back to the payrolls of its American operating companies, the vast majority of which had previously been located offshore. It is also experiencing domestic job growth from increased demand for its broadband, video, and wireless services.
 
Already over 3,000 positions, which had been outsourced by BellSouth (News - Alert), which AT&T had acquired in 2006, are back on shore and in-house. The bulk of these jobs are now located in broadband support contact centers in Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, and North Carolina with most of the others scattered across states in the Southeast.
 
Separately, AT&T (News - Alert) is well on the road to bring back another 2,000 outsourced jobs to locations in the former SBC territory. The states where these jobs have been located include Arkansas, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, and Texas. Most of the jobs provide support for wired broadband customers.
 
One of those communities that is benefiting from AT&T’s move to bring back work in-house and onshore and from the growing popularity of its services is Fleming Island, Fla., near Jacksonville. AT&T has a customer support contact center there that it had inherited from BellSouth that Clay Today reported last week is continuing to hire staff; it already has more than 400 employees. It said that many of the new employees are young but some are older people who are supplementing retirement or carving out a second career.
 
The contact center appears to be designed to attract and retain top quality people who will stay with the firm. The media outlet described the work environment as “second to none”: pointing spacious cubicles with adjustable-height workstations. There is also a large lunch room on the first floor and smaller break rooms throughout the building plus a game room with ping-pong, foosball and booths with internet capability for those who have brought laptops.
 
“We expect to complete this ambitious 5,000 job in-sourcing initiative by this summer, less than three years after the program was announced,” says Bill Blase, senior executive vice president of Human Resources. “These are good jobs with good wages and benefits, and we are delighted to have them back in-house and on shore. We applaud our union partners in the Communications Workers of America who worked with us to create competitive cost structures that allow us to meet the demands of this competitive market while still providing good domestic jobs.”

Brendan B. Read is TMCnet’s Senior Contributing Editor. To read more of Brendan’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jessica Kostek

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