Call center company Teletech Holdings is on the verge of replacing lost business from Verizon, brightening the future of its 500-job center in Niagara Falls, Teletech president Scott Thompson said Thursday.
The center has been under a cloud since Verizon announced it would drop a telecommunications business it inherited from GTE. The Niagara Falls facility provided customer support for portions of GTE's local phone business.
Now Teletech is "in the process of retooling and retraining" at Niagara Falls and other affected centers to take on new work from Verizon, Thompson said. He made the remarks during a conference call with reporters and industry analysts.
The GTE business involved supporting 400,000 customers and generated 14 percent of Teletech's total sales.
The Denver-based call center operator will work on up to six new customer support projects for Verizon, its largest customer, Thompson said.
"We think we'll come to an agreement that's in the best long-term interests of both companies," he said. Verizon faces charges if it terminates the GTE contract without sending Teletech new work.
However, Thompson wouldn't describe the new projects or provide details of the progress of talks with Verizon, saying that a final agreement remains to be signed. That leaves unanswered whether the new tasks will require the same number of workers as the GTE contract.
Teletech Holdings discussed its Verizon contracts during an announcement that focused on fast-growing sales and profits. Sales for last year reached a record $885 million, up 47 percent, while core profits grew 60 percent to $52 million. Founded in 1982, the company employs 23,000 workers at 41 centers in the U.S. and abroad.
The announcement comes despite an effort by Verizon to prune its contract work force and overtime hours. Verizon announced Thursday that it expects to cut the equivalent of 10,000 full-time jobs throughout its operations. Verizon employs a total of 260,000, not including workers at contractors like Teletech.