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DialAmerica ending 120 jobs by closing Amherst call center

DialAmerica has operated a call center in Amherst since 1988, but is closing the doors on that location and eliminating 120 jobs.

“It was always a great, hardworking group of people,” said Norine Toomey, senior vice president of corporate development for the New Jersey-based DialAmerica. Some of its employees over the years were promoted within the company.

It’s not uncommon for call centers’ employment to fluctuate as contracts come and go, but DialAmerica has decided to shut the Earhart Drive location for good, effective March 4. Eight of the 120 jobs are full-time positions.

The Amherst location has been a source of employment for students, stay-at-home mothers, and people seeking second jobs, Toomey said. The center handles both inbound and outbound customer calls.

DialAmerica said it handles health care work for multiple clients participating in the annual election period. But due to the decrease in work at the end of that period, and a client’s decision to move work offshore, DialAmerica was forced to scale back, Toomey said.

DialAmerica is making layoffs at a few sites around the country, and closing two of them: Amherst and Greenville, S.C. Meanwhile, the company is keeping its center in Rochester as its lone New York state location. Toomey said the Rochester site is larger than Amherst’s, and that the recruiting market for employees is better.

Just a year ago, DialAmerica was gearing up for a hiring event in Amherst, eager to hire 125 new employees. The company at the time cited “growing client demand,” particularly in the financial services, entertainment and child care industries.

Now the location is closing its doors.

“We’ll miss the market,” Toomey said.

DialAmerica said it is working with labor department officials in several states to provide employees with job-placement help and related services.

email: mglynn@buffnews.com