Oregon-based Consumer Cellular, the number one rated cell phone service provider in the U.S. and the exclusive wireless provider for AARP members, announced today it has signed a Letter of Intent with T-Mobile USA to sub-lease the carrier's facility in Redmond, Ore. Consumer Cellular plans to open the 77,000 square-foot call center facility on Aug. 1.
Consumer Cellular will work directly 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 (EDCO) and Redmond Economic Development, Inc. (REDI).
"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 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."
Once completed, the agreement with T-Mobile USA may preserve many of the jobs assumed lost when the Bellevue, Wash.-based carrier announced in March it would consolidate much of its operations, including a closure of its Central Oregon call center. T-Mobile employees have the option to transfer to the company's Salem, Ore. call center, as well as 16 other T-Mobile call centers throughout the country. With this agreement, Consumer Cellular will offer employees yet another option, keeping them in Redmond.
"Today's announcement restores confidence to Redmond and those who likely would have been unemployed," said REDI manager, Jon Stark. "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."
The area was already dealing with one of the highest unemployment rates in the state and this collaborative effort to save the region's jobs is a huge boost to the community. The facility will remain a call center with the bulk of positions being customer service representatives with supervisor, management and HR teams to support them.
"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."
Consumer Cellular also operates call centers in Phoenix, Ariz., and it's Portland, Ore., headquarters. The expansion to Redmond will allow the rapidly growing carrier to handle an increasing volume of calls for new service, new phone orders and customer service consultations.
About Consumer Cellular
Consumer Cellular is the exclusive wireless provider for AARP members and a top-rated carrier that provides no contract cellphones and service plans to boomers and seniors. Founded in 1995 on the belief that everyone should have affordable access to the safety and convenience of cellular service, Consumer Cellular is privately held with more than 550 employees. The Portland, Ore.-based company utilizes the nation's largest voice and data network, covering more than 296 million people - or 97 percent of the U.S. population. Consumer Cellular's cellphones and plans are sold nationwide at leading retailers such as Sears and RadioShack dealer franchise locations, as well as direct to consumers at www.consumercellular.com or 800-686-4460. For cellphone tutorials, features, applications and company news, connect with Consumer Cellular on Facebook.com/consumercellular, Twitter.com/consumer_cell and YouTube.com/consumercellular.