- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 4, 2005

HUNT VALLEY, Md. (AP) — MCI Inc. will close a telemarketing center north of Baltimore, a move that will result in 300 lost jobs by the end of September.

The company told employees last week about the job cuts at the Hunt Valley operation, which take effect Sept. 30, MCI spokeswoman Brittany Feinson said Wednesday. The Baltimore Sun first reported the story.

The center focused on selling products and services to small businesses, she said.

The Ashburn, Va., company, the nation’s No. 2 long-distance provider, attributed the need to cut jobs to “new market realities” of the telecommunications business.

“We are streamlining operations while continuing to place our primary focus on the enterprise segment of our industry,” the government agencies and corporate customers that are MCI’s mainstay businesses, the company said.

Some executives will transfer to MCI operations in Towson, Md., where the company employs about 100 people, but other workers will be terminated.

MCI is planning to offer employees job-search assistance and job fairs at its Hunt Valley offices on Sept. 8 and 15, Ms. Feinson said.

Employment at the location peaked at nearly 1,200 people in 2000 and 2001, when it housed the telemarketing operation and a call center.

In 2002, MCI said it was closing the call center, a move that eliminated 600 to 680 jobs.

Baltimore County’s Department of Economic Development did not find out about the job reduction until Wednesday, said David S. Iannucci, the county’s executive director of economic development.

“There are a lot of other call centers in the region, so it’s likely there will be employment opportunities for people who wish to stay in the industry,” he said. “I’m very optimistic these people will be able to find other opportunities.”

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