Portland Oregon-based Consumer Cellular will sublease T-Mobile USA's 77,000-square-foot Redmond, Oregon phone bank complex, with plans to open its own call center on August 1 and ultimately hire an estimated 650 employees.
Consumer Cellular worked with T-Mobile and a team of economic development organizations to ensure the transition is seamless, including the Governor's Office, Business Oregon, Economic Development for Central Oregon and Redmond Economic Development, Inc.
The agreement may preserve many of the jobs lost when T-Mobile, the Bellevue, Wash.-based carrier, announced in March it would consolidate much of its operations and close of its central Oregon call center. T-Mobile employees now have the option to transfer to the company's Salem, Oregon call center or apply to join Consumer Cellular and remain in Redmond.
"We are very pleased to join as a partner with Consumer Cellular and help return hundreds of jobs to Deschutes County," said Governor John Kitzhaber. "The swift reopening of this facility will mean less disruption and hardship for Central Oregon and the workers who faced unemployment."
"Consumer Cellular is thrilled to work with T-Mobile and this qualified team of economic development organizations to help save jobs in our state while increasing our operations to meet the needs of our rapidly expanding customer base," said Consumer Cellular CEO John Marick. "Having a move-in ready facility with a high-quality existing workforce made perfect sense for us, and we're looking forward to expanding in the state of Oregon and becoming a part of the Redmond community."
Redmond Economic Development manager, Jon Stark said; "We conducted national outreach and interest in both the T-Mobile facility and employee base was quite high. We're gratified Consumer Cellular chose to invest here and know, as a top quality employer, they'll be an excellent fit for the Redmond business community."
"We are very pleased to have a signed Letter of Intent with Consumer Cellular regarding the sub-lease of our call center facility in Redmond," said Brian Brueckman, senior vice president, direct to customer, T-Mobile USA. "An important part of our sub-lease search criteria was to find a company that could not only assume the lease, but also provide additional opportunities to our employees who may not want to relocate to one of our seventeen US call centers where we are hiring."
As an incentive The Oregon Governor's Office will provide Consumer Cellular with a $250,000 loan, which will be forgiven if hiring quotas are reached. Located with the Redmond Enterprise Zone, the firm will be eligible for property tax exemptions on capital purchases and improvements, along with training grants.