Atwater AT&T call center scheduled to close

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A major company is shutting down their offices in the North Valley and now hundreds of jobs are on the line. A spokesperson for AT&T confirmed 435 people work at the Atwater call center which will close at the end of August.

The AT&T call center in Atwater has been in business since 1997. On Friday, employees were notified at the end of August the location will fold. A spokesperson for the company says some staff are being offered transfers to other offices in California, Washington, Colorado and Iowa. The spokesperson added, those who don't want to move will get severance pay.

Locals are worried about how this shutdown will hurt the economy.

"I think it's terrible, a community this size lost a lot of jobs. It's huge. How do you regain those jobs? You can't," said Dan Hewitt.

"More scared than I was before about the way the economy is going knowing that many people are going to lose their jobs and get transferred to another area," said Dina Brogden.

The AT&T offices are located on Castle Commerce Center. About 2,000 people are employed there but losing hundreds of jobs could impact the entire county.

"We are definitely saddened by this potential loss of jobs; this doesn't fit in with our visions or plans for Castle Commerce Center," said Mike North with Merced County.

Mi Pueblo Foods announced their plans to close the Atwater store by September -- putting about 90 people out of work.

Fresno State marketing professor Dr. Bill Rice says anytime businesses close, people have less money to spend elsewhere.

"So it's going to have an impact especially in the retail restaurants community because of the volume of people spending money in that location," said Dr. Rice.

Related Topics:
businessAT&Tjobsemploymentmerced countyAtwater
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