Olathe Customer Management Facility With 179 Employees Will Close At The End Of May
This story was updated to add the comments of Olathe Chamber of Commerce CEO Tim McKee.
A global customer service company is closing an Olathe call center that employs 179 people — although they will be given the chance to work from home.
Concentrix, a Greenville, South Carolina-based subsidiary of publicly owned SYNNEX Corp., told employees on Monday that the facility will close on May 31.
“But the good news is that program is going to be moving to work-at-home,” said Brooke Beiting, a spokeswoman for Concentrix. “So everyone who has the capabilities to work from home will have a job.”
Asked how many employees would qualify to work from home, Breiting said, “The majority of folks, if not everyone.”
The call center, just east of Interstate 35 on North Rogers Road, represents major brands and handles their customer interactions, according to Beiting.
“So if somebody is calling and wants to talk about their bill or somebody wants to upgrade their services, no matter who that client may be, they help make that happen,” Beiting said.
The call center was formerly owned by Cincinnati, Ohio-based Convergys Corp. Concentrix acquired Convergys last year in a stock transaction valued at $2.43 billion.
Concentrix operates more than 275 centers in 40 countries and bills itself as the second largest provider of customer engagement services in the world. According to SYNNEX’s most recent annual report with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Concentrix has more than 650 clients in a variety of industries, including automotive, banking, consumer electronics and health care.
Beiting said the decision to close the Olathe center was “just a business decision made by us to best serve the clients.”
She said employee pay and benefits for those who qualify to work from home would remain the same.
Tim McKee, CEO of the Olathe Chamber of Commerce, said in an email that the chamber was “sad to see this longstanding business vacate their Olathe location.”
“In our current economic environment where Olathe has so many new and existing employers seeking skilled workforce, the City of Olathe and the Olathe Chamber are here to help Concentrix keep all of these jobs in Olathe should employees choose not to work from home,” McKee said.
Concentrix is the second major employer in Olathe to close its facility in the last four months.
In November, Hooper Holmes Inc., a provider of health and wellness services, laid off 99 employees after the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company did business as Provant Health.
On the plus side, Honeywell Aerospace’s facility in Olathe is likely to gain hundreds of new employees as a result of closures of Honeywell Aerospace facilities in Wichita and Renton, Washington. The company said last month that it was centralizing its repair operations in Olathe, where it owns a sprawling facility at the intersection of Highways 7 and 10.
Dan Margolies is a senior reporter and editor at KCUR. You can reach him on Twitter @DanMargolies.