News : Sykes Closing Call Center in Upper Macungie, Affecting 96 Workers
Upper Macungie Township, PA, USA, Feb, 2018 -- Sykes Enterprises Inc., a global business process outsourcing firm, is closing its call center in Upper Macungie Township, affecting 96 employees, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act notice filed this week with the state.
But the news may not be all bad.
"However, we are working to transition as many site employees as possible to our virtual call center business: Sykes Home," Jen Gudenkauf, the company’s vice president of human resources in North America, wrote in the notice. "In order for our employees to transition successfully to working from the comfort of their own homes, we are providing the necessary equipment."
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The center, at 7150 Windsor Dr., is slated to close on or about March 31, according to the notice. The company did not say how many of the 96 employees it would need for its virtual operation.
Officials at the company’s Tampa, Fla., headquarters did not return calls.
But it appears the company is making similar changes across the country. For example, The Buffalo News last week reported Sykes was closing its Amherst, N.Y., location on March 31, a move affecting 89 workers whom the company, similarly, plans to offer the chance to work from home as customer service representatives, among other positions.
Virtual call centers also appear to be a trend across the globe. According to a mid-year 2017 report from Magellan Solutions, a BPO company in the Philippines, call center companies are increasingly open to hiring agents who work from home, which is a cost-effective strategy for firms.
But the closure will leave a vacancy in the 51,204-square-foot building in the Iron Run Corporate Center, which is owned by Brookwood Financial Partners LLC of Beverly, Mass. Brookwood did not respond to a call and email seeking comment, and it was not immediately known how much space Sykes leases in the building.
"The decision to make such business changes is never easy, but we are hopeful that many of our current Allentown employees will find the opportunity to grow with us in our expanding virtual call center business," Gudenkauf wrote.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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