Citing the state's "high cost of doing business," Comcast announced Tuesday it's closing all three of its California call-in centers, including its Natomas branch, which employs about 300.
In addition to the Natomas office at 4450 E. Commerce Way, Comcast call centers in Livermore and Morgan Hill will also be shuttered on November 30. Overall, about 1,000 jobs will be rerouted to existing call centers in Portland, Seattle and Denver.
Employees were given information packets about the closures Tuesday morning. Those who wish to relocate to Oregon, Washington or Colorado will have the option; otherwise severance and relocation assistance will be made available.
In an email, Comcast regional vice president Andrew Johnson said the cable company "arrived at this decision after thoughtfully and methodically studying the market and our potential options. We determined that the high cost of doing business in California makes it difficult to run cost-effective call centers in Northern California."
He emphasized that the total number of Comcast employees answering phones will not decrease.
Comcast's decision came as a complete surprise, said Robert Burris, senior vice president of SACTO, the Sacramento area business development group. "It's really unfortunate, especially for those employees who are going to be displaced." He said SACTO had already contacted Sacramento Employment and Training Agency to obtain retraining for the affected employees.
"Whenever we hear a company talking about having a difficult time doing business in the region, the state, we'd want to put together a team and go meet with them and resolve the problem. Unfortunately, in this case, we didn't get that opportunity."
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