expanding South Dakota call center
By The Associated Press
Rocky Mountain News
Friday, April 14, 2006
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Qwest Communications has announced plans
to add 120 jobs as it expands its sales and service center
in downtown Sioux Falls. The call center already has 280
customer service workers who handle calls from a 14-state
The center was opened a year ago and has fielded 1 million
calls since then.
"We’re proud to be part of this community and continuing to
grow jobs here in this state," said Larry Toll, president of
Qwest South Dakota.
Construction on office space for the additional workers is
expected to be done by the end of July.
Many of the employees will belong to Communications Workers
of America Local 7500 and start at $10 per hour after a
12-week training period.
Gov. Mike Rounds said South Dakota has an eager work force
and a friendly business climate — factors that he said
contributed to Qwest’s expansion plans.
"The real winners here are the employees," Rounds said.
"There’s no place like South Dakota, and we have employees
that already prove that on a regular basis. (Qwest) took a
chance, and they’ve proved they can be successful."
The company is hiring and training employees now. The Sioux
Falls workers answer sales and service calls.
Last year, Qwest got an incentive package from the state
worth $1.1 million to help defray an estimated $2 million in
startup costs for the center. The state again has promised
$168,000 in Workforce Development Program funds to help with
new employee training.
"It’s an extension of what we did last year," Rounds said.
Qwest, based in Denver, used to have a company in Texas
handle the chore but officials say it’s been more profitable
running its own call center in Sioux Falls.