TAMPA - Verizon is hiring 100 sales representatives to expand a customer-retention center in Tampa into a national center for sales and customer support functions for landline products and services, including FiOS Internet and FiOS TV.
The jobs will pay up to $20 an hour and include 401k benefits and other incentives, including some roles that will include sales commissions.
The announcement Thursday reinforces Tampa as the hub of Verizon's Florida operations.
About 6,000 of Verizon's 9,500 Florida jobs are in Tampa and another 1,000 Verizon jobs are located in five nearby counties.
"Tampa is a good place with a great quality of life, great cost of living and good education with schools and universities that provide a great talent pool for us," said Jeanmarie Milla, Verizon's Florida region president.
The company did not receive any economic development financial support or incentives for the expansion, Milla said.
Hillsborough County and the city of Tampa, along with the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation and the Tampa Bay Workforce Alliance, will assist Verizon with resources for recruitment, hiring and training employees.
The downtown Tampa call center has been providing customer support for Florida. By next month when the new employees are on board, it will handle requests from new and existing landline customers in 12 states and Washington, D.C., primarily after business hours.
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said Verizon's expansion is the latest indication of how the city is leading the state out of the recession.
"This is an exciting day," said Buckhorn, who visited New York with other local officials Monday to deliver Tampa's economic development message to various major corporations.
"Tampa is becoming widely known as the place to do business," he said. "It is a good time to be a Tampanian."