News : Comcast Plans 600-worker Fort Collins Call Center
Fort Collins, CO, USA, May 17, 2016 -- Comcast Cable Corp. will bring a customer care center and more than 600 new jobs to Fort Collins.
Jon Lehmann, senior director of government and regulatory affairs for Comcast, outlined the basics of the cable and internet service provider's plans in an email to Mayor Pro Tem Gerry Horak. Under Colorado's Open Records Act, council emails are public information and the city makes them available on its website.
The announcement will be formalized at 10 a.m. Thursday at Galvanize, 242 Linden St.
Several Fort Collins City Council members, Comcast and state officials are expected to attend. Comcast has been working with state officials to bring the customer service center to Fort Collins for months.
In January, Colorado officials offered state incentives to a then-unnamed telecommunications company considering expanding in Larimer County, Arizona or New Mexico. The state's Office of Economic Development and International Trade confirmed Tuesday that company was Comcast.
To help the telecommunications provider pick Fort Collins, the state-appointed Colorado Development Commission tapped into the Colorado Job Growth Incentive Tax Credits program.
Before Comcast can receive any reductions in its corporate income tax it must create and maintain for at least one full year 635 full-time jobs that pay the average wage in Larimer County, or at least $44,421, said Sam Bailey, senior manager for global business development with the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. The tax credits will be available over eight years as long as Comcast meets the job and wage requirements.
"They can't take advantage of anything until they perform," he said.
If Comcast creates 600 jobs rather than 635, the incentive will be prorated, Bailey said. If it falls below the wage requirement, Comcast will not be eligible for tax credits until pay is increased.
The Coloradoan has also learned the customer care center plans to open in vacant space at Hewlett-Packard's Harmony Road campus. Earlier this year, Loveland-based Madwire Media announced plans to move to empty space on the HP campus.
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Comcast employs 8,000 workers in the state and more than 50 in Fort Collins, said Leslie Oliver, external communications director of Comcast's Mountain West Region.
"This new center represents a significant continuation of our investment in the Fort Collins community," she said.
The majority of the 600 workers will be new positions. "That's a significant workforce development plan going forward," Oliver said. "We are excited about being more prevalent and more engaged and invested in the Fort Collins community."
City Councilman Gino Campana called the addition "a pleasant surprise. How can you knock 600 jobs?"
Campana said he didn't have many details on what kind of jobs Comcast would offer, what those jobs would pay or whether they're filling a need in the community. "If they're filling empty space and filling a niche, I think it's great. Job generation is always excellent."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Wednesday, May 18, 2016
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