Call Center to Create 300-500 Jobs

Morristown answered the call for jobs in the Lakeway Area with today’s announcement regarding a global leader in the customer service industry.

Officials from Sykes Enterprises attended the June 23 meeting of the city’s Industrial Development Board to finalize details regarding the company’s newest inbound call center location that will begin training its first wave of employees in early August.

The company provides business process outsourcing services, IT consulting and IT-enabled services, such as technical support and customer service, employing 47,900 employees at 75 locations in 20 countries, according to its website.

Eventually, the call center will employ from 300 to 550 workers in the Morristown location that will initially operate from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. at 2181 West Andrew Johnson Hwy., serving Sykes’ largest client, an international telecommunications company.

“We are very excited to be in Morristown,” Todd McReynolds, executive director of Major Markets Account Management for Sykes, said. He cited the customer service and bilingual skills available in the market as important draws for the company — “It was always the right fit. I know this site has what it takes to succeed.”

The call center will make a valuable addition to the business and industrial base of the city.

“We’re certainly pleased to welcome Sykes to the Morristown community,” Morristown Mayor Gary Chesney said. “The company’s selection of Morristown as the place to grow its business is both exciting and telling. The economic impact for new employees creates a renewed enthusiasm for the future. The work of our recruiters is an indication our city is more than capable of providing necessary needs for industrial growth.”

“It is exciting to see a new business sector enter the Morristown/Hamblen County market,” Hamblen County Mayor Bill Brittain said. “The company has recognized that our area has the workforce with the skills it needs and East Tennessee will be a great place to do business.  I’m happy for our community and the Sykes corporate family.”

The location of the global company in the city was a multi-tiered effort conducted by a team of committed community supporters.

“We are elated that Sykes chose Morristown as the site for the Call Center,” R. Jack Fishman, chairman of the Industrial Board of the City of Morristown, said.

“This will provide opportunities for several individuals for training and quality management, customer service personnel, in addition, essentially a different type of job that we presently have in our community. Diversification of the job opportunities we have in the Lakeway Area continues to be a high priority of our Chamber of Commerce marketing committee.

“This represents the announcement that many in our community have been working on for over four years. City and State officials, local businesses and individuals that worked on the project have done an outstanding job,” Fishman said.

The company will operate the Morristown call center in the building that housed Food City No. 607 prior to its relocation to the Masengill Springs Shopping Center.

“We welcome Sykes to our community. Their history in communities of a similar size and make up of Morristown bodes well for their potential success in our community and we would like to thank them for selecting our community to grow in,” Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Marshall Ramsey said.

“The Chamber would like to thank our elected leadership from the city and county for their support on this project. The project wasn’t a typical industrial project and required some outside of the box thinking and I’d like to think these elected leaders for their guidance through the project.

The attractiveness of the East Tennessee locale, along with the Lakeway Area’s available workforce, was enhanced by a specific, forward-thinking investment.

“The Chamber would like to thank Morristown Utility Systems and their foresight to bring the Gig Network to Morristown. This has proven to be an invaluable recruiting tool on this project and shows our utility’s commitment to ensuring our residents and businesses have the needed technology to complete on a global level,” Ramsey said.

Gigabit networks are the fastest in the world, with symmetrical speeds – the same speed for upload and download – which is important to businesses with high data requirements.  The term Gigabit means 1,000 Megabits, or 667 times faster than traditional T1, or fiber optic, lines. The networks can connect multiple locations into one reliable and secure network presence, making a business more efficient by saving them time and money.

According to MUS General Manager and CEO Jody Wigington, the utility is ready right now to deliver any speed of internet Sykes needs.

“As a local network provider we can move quickly to turn up service and help bring the call center on line sooner,” Wigington said.

Ramsey is also appreciative of the investment of time and energy made by local commercial property developer, Paul LeBel.

“Paul did a wonderful job, pulling all this together,” Ramsey said.

LeBel said the project involved a number of moving parts.

“If it weren’t for Marshall, (city administrator) Tony Cox, the industrial board and MUS, this deal might have gone elsewhere,” LeBel said. “It took a lot of teamwork to put together this deal. This is a prime example of what happens when community leaders come together and work for a common cause.”

Sykes is a global leader in providing customer contact management solutions and services in the business process outsourcing arena. The company provides an array of customer contact management solutions to market leaders around the world, primarily in the communications, financial services and technology industries.

Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, with customer contact management centers throughout the world, Sykes specializes in flexible, high-quality outsourced customer support solutions with an emphasis on inbound customer care and technical support.

Utilizing an integrated onshore/offshore global delivery model, the company serves clients through three geographic operating segments: the Americas (United States, Canada, and Latin America), EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and Asia. Further, SYKES also provides enterprise support services in the Americas and fulfillment services in EMEA, including multilingual order and payment processing, inventory control, product delivery and returns handling.

-By Glenna Howington, Tribune Staff Writer

Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce * 825 W. First North Street * P.O. Box 9 * Morristown, TN 37815 * 423-586-6382 * 423-586-6576 fax