Article Comment 

Sitel to lay off more than 250 in Starkville


Tim Pratt



STARKVILLE -- More than 250 people are expected to lose their jobs over the next two months at the Sitel call center in Starkville. 


The employees will be laid off in two segments, with one group spending their last day at the facility on Feb. 2, and the other segment finishing their employment there on March 3. 


According to Andrew Kokes, Sitel''s vice president of marketing, the layoffs come as a result of "the reduction in business needs" of two different Sitel customers. One is a health care company and the other is a high-speed Internet provider, though Kokes did not identify the companies. The employees being laid off serve as customer service representatives for the companies. 


"This is all due to their changing business needs," Kokes said of the two companies.  


At its peak, Sitel employed about 850 people at its facility in the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park. Kokes did not know how many people work there now.  


Sitel is working with other businesses and government agencies in the area to assist these individuals in finding new employment, Kokes said. 


"We have been an active part of the Starkville business community for a number of years, so the decision to reduce our site here does not come easy," Kendall Williams, site director of Sitel''s Starkville facility, said in a statement.  


Sitel is a global Business Process Outsourcing leader. The company meets clients'' customer care and transaction processing needs through 60,000 associates in 27 countries, with more than 140 facilities, according to a Sitel news release. 


Sitel has laid off hundreds of employees in recent months in Alabama, Tennessee, Texas and Canada, among other places.  


Kokes didn''t know how many Sitel employees have been laid off in the past year and had no additional comments.  


Greater Starkville Development Partnership CEO Jon Maynard, however, said the loss of 253 jobs in Starkville is "detrimental to our region." 


"Sitel is a valuable employer in our community," Maynard said. "Any local job loss is obviously detrimental to our region and the layoff of the large number of employees that Sitel is proposing is significant." 


The GSDP and Tennessee Valley Authority met with the management team at Sitel Tuesday and a "conversation has been started" to assist with mitigating expected job losses, as well as to prepare for the expected job growth, Maynard said.




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Reader Comments

Article Comment fedup commented at 1/21/2010 6:52:00 PM:

Another flawed Obama moment!!


Article Comment Gene commented at 1/21/2010 7:45:00 PM:

Fedup -- Not sure what you read but eyes-wide-shut doesn't work. This is about a business. I fail to see how this is in anyway political. I'm sorry people are going to be laid off but why should a company be prevented for doing what's necessary in order to be/stay profitable for their owners/shareholders? I mean come-on, we do have two senators from Mississippi, and both are republican -- why not vent at them? After all, they do represent us. Don't they?


Article Comment Jay commented at 1/22/2010 1:15:00 PM:

Great comment Gene so many people are so clueless to what businesses have to do in order to survive today! And it has nothing to do with the President!


Article Comment Jay commented at 1/22/2010 1:15:00 PM:

Great comment Gene so many people are so clueless to what businesses have to do in order to survive today! And it has nothing to do with the President!


Article Comment Bartleby commented at 1/24/2010 10:41:00 PM:

I worked at this place for several years, and I can tell you that it was doomed to fail regardless of the economic environment. It promoted a reverse racism environment due to hiring and promotion practices, is constantly embroiled in a fraud dispute, and has the FBI come up there every few months because an employee steals a customer's credit card and tries to by an hdtv with it. Good riddance as far as I'm concerned. Low skilled laborers can work in fast food and be happier than work as slaves for middle management types.


Article Comment ripfetner commented at 1/25/2010 12:03:00 PM:


Right on.


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