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Nynex Corp. plans to close its downtown operator center next summer and shift most of the facility's 100 jobs to a similar office in Williamsville, the telephone company said Wednesday.

While not all of the downtown operators will be shifted to Nynex's Williamsville facility at 46 N. Cayuga Road, all of them are expected to be offered either another job within the company or an early-retirement incentive, said Cliff Lee, a company spokesman.

The move to close Nynex's downtown operator center at 65 Franklin St. also is not expected to result in any overall job losses at the Buffalo facility, where the firm is expanding its Home Market Center to handle customer calls about issues, such as new service and billing questions.

Nynex expects to have added about 65 jobs at its Home Market Center at the Franklin Street building by the end of this year, Lee said. The company has dropped plans to have some of the simpler questions handled by customer service workers employed by another firm in Texas, he said.

Once the move is completed by the end of June, about 170 operators will work out of the Williamsville center, compared with the 200 operators who now are roughly evenly split between the two facilities, Lee said.

"It's more efficient to have one office instead of two," Lee said. "You gain efficiencies by having all your equipment in one location and by having all your employees in one location." The consolidation is expected to begin in May.

Lee said Nynex expects some of the operators who do not move to the Williamsville center will apply for some of the new jobs being created at the Franklin Street office, as well as other jobs within the company. "No one will be losing their job," he said. "We're trying to accommodate people as much as possible."

The consolidation is part of a statewide program by Nynex to close six of its 27 operator centers throughout the state, Lee said.

Nynex still fills most of the Franklin Street building with its Home Market Center, administrative offices, installation and maintenance staff and engineering department. The firm is looking for other ways to fill the space vacated by the operator shift, Lee said.

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