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Verizon to phase out ABQ call center

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Verizon Wireless plans to close its 197,000-square-foot call center at Central Avenue and Coors Boulevard and transition its workforce to a home-based agent model.

The employee transition will be complete by May 2019, followed by closing of the brick-and-mortar center by October of next year, Verizon spokesperson Jenny Weaver told the Journal Wednesday afternoon.

“We’re transitioning the Albuquerque call center to a 100 percent home-based agent model,” Weaver said. “Employees work from the comfort of their homes and continue to support customers as if they were at the brick-and-mortar call center.”

Verizon has been moving employees at call centers in other states to a home-based model and found that the workforce likes it, Weaver said.

“At other places, we’ve found it’s a satisfaction driver for employees,” she said. “Happy employees translates to happy customers, so we’re excited about this.”

Employees that don’t want to work from home could be offered opportunities at other Verizon facilities.

“Employees have the choice,” Weaver said. “We’ll offer options for all employees.”

It’s not clear how many workers will be affected. Weaver said she didn’t know the current number of employees at the Albuquerque center, but in December 2016, spokeswoman Jeannine Brew told Albuquerque Business First that 1,000 people were employed here.

Verizon leases the building, where the company opened its operations in 2006. It invested about $30 million at that time to upgrade the facility, and by 2009 employed about 1,600 people there.

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