Zephyrhills call center to close; 54 lose jobs
ZEPHYRHILLS - Accent Marketing Services announced Friday the closure of its call center in Zephyrhills, citing the corporation's need to "reduce excess capacity" and "streamline operations." About 54 employees will be laid off, said Kelly M. Hilton, vice president of corporate communications. The facility will be closing its doors in April. There is no set date for the closing, Hilton said, but it should take place between April 1 and April 26. The employees may relocate to open positions at other company facilities, she said. The company's operations in Zephyrhills will be moved to Accent's call center in Monroe, La, according to a written announcement."It was a very difficult decision for us to make," Hilton said from the company's headquarters in Jeffersonville, Ind. "We needed to make changes across our entire network. "We had more room than we needed" would be an accurate statement to explain the closure, Hilton said. "Though difficult, these changes are necessary to help us operate as efficiently and effectively as possible," Linda Ruffenach, president and chief operating officer of Accent, says in a written announcement. "We understand the impact these changes will have on our loyal, talented and hardworking employees and are committed to supporting them throughout this transition." Employees affected by the reduction have been offered severance based on tenure with the company, retention bonuses to stay during the transition, relocation and access to counseling services, the announcement states. Founded in 1993, Accent employs more than 3,000 people across the United States and the Caribbean. The Zephyrhills center opened in 2000 in a leased building at 5931 N. Gall Boulevard in the Zephyr Plaza shopping center. The center has served clients in the telecommunications, manufacturing and technology sectors. The Zephyrhills center is the only Accent facility in Florida and one of Accent's nine customer call centers globally.