Cox Communications plans to shift more than 200 specialized call center jobs out of Las Vegas in coming months.
But the cable, phone and Internet service provider said it could ultimately see a net increase of about 50 jobs by the end of the year.
“We’re actually adding jobs to back-fill the jobs that are going to be shifted,” Cox spokeswoman Stephanie Stallworth said. “These aren’t really layoffs. This is shifting jobs to a different focus. This was not a cost-saving measure.”
The shakeup will start in late April and early May, she said, and employees in the call center at Rancho Drive and Bonanza Road have already been made aware of the plans.
With about 1,300 workers in Las Vegas, Cox is the largest non-casino private employer in the area.
The company expects to move billing, account services and technical support positions to other areas throughout the country. People in those jobs will have three options: apply for a job in another market, apply for one of 250 jobs being added in Las Vegas or accept a severance package based on salary and years of service. The new jobs are for operators dedicated to sales and retention.
The reorganization, designed to streamline efficient customer service, is not exclusive to Las Vegas. Cox is shifting jobs across the country to establish “centers of excellence” in Phoenix, Wichita, Kan., Omaha, Neb., Oklahoma City and Hampton Roads, Va. Cox employs about 19,000 people nationwide.
Each new center is expected to focus on a specific area of customer service, which is part of an overall response to increasing competition from satellite television and online programs.
“Customers will never feel this from a negative perspective,” Stallworth said. “In fact, once the reorganization is complete, customers should really be able to receive greater responsiveness, definitely decreased hold times and more personalized customer experience.”
Current employees hired elsewhere could receive as much as $15,000 for relocation costs.
“Local Cox employees will be given priority consideration for the new jobs created during the launch of the Las Vegas COEs (centers of excellence) because we hope to retain as many of our employees in the Cox family as possible,” said Mike Bolognini, market vice president for Las Vegas.
Though the changes were unveiled in the wake of recent rate increases, Stallworth said the two were “completely unrelated.” The rate increases, which took effect last month, varied depending on the type of service received. That hike was a result of a rise in programmer costs, and the reorganization was “a business decision driven completely with the desire of improving our customer experience.”
Contact reporter David Ferrara at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-5290.