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iQor closing St. Petersburg tech repair facility, cutting 76 jobs

Hartmut Liebel is iQor’s CEO. The company’s headquarters relocated to St. Petersburg.

RACHEL CROSBY | Times

Hartmut Liebel is iQor’s CEO. The company’s headquarters relocated to St. Petersburg.

ST. PETERSBURG — Less than two years after moving its international headquarters to downtown St. Petersburg, tech call center and repair company iQor US is shrinking its operation here.

The company plans to close its Telmar Network repair facility at 9700 18th St. N, idling 76 workers, according to a WARN layoff notice filed with the state this week.

The layoffs are expected to occur between Dec. 16 and the shutdown of the facility on Feb. 28. Sandra Gobbo, iQor vice president of human resources, wrote state officials and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman with a breakdown of affected job classifications, many of them directly involved with equipment repair.

The company, which provides product support for Apple and other well-known brands, was introduced to many in Tampa Bay tech circles in early 2014 when it bought the aftermarket repair business of St. Petersburg electronics manufacturer Jabil for $725 million. Later that year, it announced it was moving its headquarters from New York to St. Petersburg.

The relocation came with a pair of government incentives worth up to $1.275 million, which would be paid after promised high-wage jobs were created. One tax refund program involved creating 50 jobs paying at least 200 percent of the average annual wage in Florida; a second program tied to the governor's Quick Action Closing Fund involved retaining 60 jobs plus creating 50 more jobs at an even higher wage range.

Company spokesman Robert Burke said the facility's closing was the result of a change in business strategy of one of its clients and it will have no impact on the incentives packages.

"iQor continues to invest in the Tampa Bay region and the state of Florida," Burke said, noting that the St. Petersburg corporate headquarters now employs about 110. The company also recently opened a contact center in Pompano Beach where it is hiring for about 275 positions and it anticipates adding another 325 employees in December when it completes the acquisition of a Crestview customer service center from Asurion.

By year's end, iQor expects to have more than 2,000 employees in Florida, Burke said.

Contact Jeff Harrington at jharrington@tampabay.com. Follow @JeffMHarrington.

iQor closing St. Petersburg tech repair facility, cutting 76 jobs 10/21/16 [Last modified: Friday, October 21, 2016 7:16pm]
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