Verizon is hiring 100 sales representatives to launch a new national customer-retention center based in its downtown Tampa offices.
The center will handle sales and support for a variety of landline products and services, primarily FiOS Internet and FiOS TV. The new employees will deal mainly with after-business hour issues raised by customers in 12 states and Washington, D.C., a task that was previously outsourced to a vendor.
Up until now, Verizon's Tampa call center dealt primarily with Florida customers and overflow from two other states.
"Tampa is ideal for this new service center for many reasons, including a skilled available labor pool; a great quality of life; and the outstanding job our existing employees already do to take care of customers," Jeanmarie Milla, Verizon's Florida region president, said during a Thursday morning announcement at the company's Tampa hub.
The choice of Tampa Bay underscores Verizon's broader commitment here, having invested more than $2 billion to roll out its FiOS network in the region.
No state or local tax incentives are tied to the expansion, Milla said.
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Hillsborough County Commission Chairman Ken Hagan were among those on hand for the announcement.
"This is becoming a good habit," said Buckhorn, who spoke at another jobs announcement Wednesday at the groundbreaking of a new restaurant and brewery by the Columbia Restaurant Group. "It seems as though every day we're announcing something new in our Tampa Bay community."
The bay area has been leading all Florida metros in job creation, adding nearly 34,000 jobs year over year. The region's unemployment rate ticked up to 6.9 percent in May, though it remains far below its recessionary high of 12.5 percent in early 2010.
Verizon has about 7,000 employees currently in the six-county region including Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Manatee, Sarasota and Polk counties. That represents the bulk of the telecom/tech company's 9,500 workers statewide.
Wages for the new jobs will range up to $20/hour, Milla said, not including sales incentives and benefits such as a 401(k) plan.
To apply, job seekers should go to http://verizon.com/tampa salesassociate. Selected applicants will be invited to take qualifying tests.
Jeff Harrington can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8242.