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AT&T opens Fairhaven customer care center; awards loans to small businesses.

FAIRHAVEN, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 30, 1997--Governor Paul Cellucci today joined AT&T executives at a ceremony attended by state and local officials, business and community leaders and AT&T employees to officially open AT&T's newest customer sales and service center at 200 Mill Road in Fairhaven. The center employs 765 AT&T customer contact associates and an administrative staff of 138.

"AT&T is the latest company to realize that Massachusetts workers are among the best and the brightest," said Governor Cellucci. "The more than 900 jobs that have been created in Fairhaven will be a big boost to the local economy and will fuel the Commonwealth's continued economic growth and prosperity."

Customer contact associates at the Fairhaven center answer inquiries from AT&T residential customers on sales and service-related issues, such as helping consumers analyze which AT&T calling plan best meets their calling needs. Although the majority of calls originate in the Northeast, callers may be located anywhere in the country.

"This facility is a vital link in AT&T's drive to provide the best possible service to our residential customers," said David Jefferson, president of AT&T's Northeast region. "We could have chosen any site for this center, but we picked Fairhaven because of the dedicated workforce available in greater New Bedford and because of the leadership of state and local officials in assisting with creative economic development incentives.

"With a $30 million annual payroll in this center, AT&T's presence will boost this regions economy, and we will partner with local communities to help advance Southeastern Massachusetts economic development," Jefferson continued. "In fact, already our philanthropic commitment to this region has resulted in grants and in-kind contributions of more than a quarter million dollars to local non-profits over the past year."

AT&T also announced the winners of its first "Human Capital Plus" loans during the ribbon-cutting. Partnering with Citizens for Citizens in Fall River and People Acting in Community Endeavors (PACE) in New Bedford, AT&T established a $100,000 regional economic development fund to provide loans to start new or grow existing small businesses in Southeastern Massachusetts.

Officials from Citizens for Citizens and PACE joined AT&T to announce loans totaling $24,000 to three area small businesses. Recipients of $10,000 loans are Bat-Cap Co. of Fall River and Drummer Boy Screen Printing of New Bedford. Raven Academy of Self Defense in Fall River received a $4,000 loan. Mark Sullivan, director of Citizens for Citizens, also announced the initiation of a campaign to recruit additional candidates for the "Human Capital Plus" loans.

"AT&T has always been committed to enhancing the quality of life in the communities we serve," Jefferson said. "In addition to the economic development loans awarded today, every AT&T employee at this center has the opportunity to participate in our national 'AT&T CARES' volunteer program by devoting one paid work day to a local community service project. Im proud to announce that since June, 378 Fairhaven employees have donated more than 3024 hours to 19 different volunteer projects."

The customer sales and service center began taking calls from AT&T customers earlier this year. The calls are being handled by a staff of 765 customer contact associates, working shifts that keep the center open from 6:30 a.m. to midnight, Sunday through Friday.

Application for employment at the Fairhaven facility may be obtained by calling the AT&T Applicant Scheduling Center at 1-800-562-7288 (recruiting code 05148).

The new Fairhaven facility is the company's eighth customer sales and service center. The others are located in Atlanta; Charleston, W.V.; Dallas; Pittsburgh; Mesa, Ariz.; Kansas City; and Lees Summit, Mo.

AT&T is the worlds premier communications and information services company, serving more than 90 million consumer, business and government customers. The company has annual revenues of more than $52 billion and more than 130,000 employees. It runs the worlds largest, most sophisticated communications network and is the leading provider of long-distance and wireless services. AT&T operates in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. The company also offers online services and access to home entertainment, and has begun to deliver local telephone services. In addition, AT&T offers outsourcing, consulting, systems-integration and customer-care services to large businesses and manages one of the worlds largest credit card programs.


Robin Sayre, 617/574-3161


S. Kay Gibbs, 617/574-3163
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Oct 30, 1997
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