Calling the future

A customer service center will open summer 2017, bringing 600 local jobs

 

CUSTOMER SERVICE — The Covergys Corporation facility will open in summer 2017. Photo Provided

CUSTOMER SERVICE — The Covergys Corporation facility will open in summer 2017.
Photo Provided

Convergys Corporation, the second-largest customer service provider in the world, could potentially bring 600 jobs to the Lynchburg area with the addition of a new call center opening summer 2017, city
officials said.

According to www.lynchburgva.gov, the corporation plans to open the center at 2840 Linkhorne Drive.

The branch will offer hundreds of customer-service related jobs over the next three years.

The facility, a former Kroger, is currently undergoing a $3 million refurbishment, according to Lynchburg Mayor Joan Foster.

Lynchburg will be Convergys’ first location in Virginia.

“We are so privileged to have Convergys select Lynchburg,” Foster said.

“This means we’re doing something right, that we’re a growing community.”

Senior Communications Specialist Brooke Beiting said Lynchburg was chosen because of its potential partnership with the corporation.

“When (Convergys looks) for new sites, we are always looking to not only provide jobs, but to really grow in the community and help give back to where our employees live and work,” Beiting said.

“Lynchburg seemed to really match up with our mission and values.”

Though Lynchburg has many attractive features to a large corporation such as Convergys, it also offers an appealing environment for workers.

“Lynchburg is a wonderful place to select,” Foster said.

“We have a workforce here that needs jobs. We have a great quality of life, excellent school systems. We’re an area that is up and growing. We have incentives that are out there for businesses that are coming out there.”

Foster said only 16 years ago, Lynchburg began to lose population.

However, the growth of Liberty and the downtown area brought the area back to life.

“We’re looking at a well-rounded community with college students, families and retirees,” Foster said.

The possible influx of job opportunities is welcomed by a city left reeling after the closing of a local Nationwide branch in February 2015 which left 340 people unemployed.

Another 200 jobs were lost the following year due to cutbacks at insurance provider Genworth Financial.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Lynchburg’s unemployment rate hovers at 4.3 percent.

“Sometimes you have bad news, but when one door closes, another one opens.”

Director of Economic Development Marjette Upshur said in an interview with WSLS.

While the branch has the potential to create 600 jobs, the number is subject to change.

“It will all depend on our clients, who our clients are, what position they’ll be looking for,” Beiting said.

“All of those are factors that determine job numbers.”

Convergys is still in the beginning stages of establishing the new facility, but promises to keep Lynchburg informed on upcoming job fairs and other details.

Upon opening, they will be looking for workers in customer service, talent acquisition and operations.

“The majority of our job openings will be customer service, but it’s a brand new site, and we’ll need folks on the ground,” Beiting said.

Foster is optimistic about the impact Convergys — and perhaps other future
corporations — will have on the city.

“(Former mayor) Jimmie Bryan used to say, ‘It’s a great day to be alive in Lynchburg,‘” Foster said.

“I want every citizen to feel that way. With companies like Convergys making an investment in our community, it really is a great day to be alive in Lynchburg.”

Vence is a news reporter.

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