Announcement heartbreaking for locals

Published 11:47 pm Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Grinch did not steal Christmas this week, but he definitely threw some cold water on it when Sitel began informing its employees on Monday that it will close its Andalusia location by April 1.
To date, the company has not said whether it will release its current work force all at once, or will slowly reduce the number of people it employs.
According to Sitel’s corporate web site, the subsidiary now has 75,000 employees at 146 sites serving 70 countries in 48 languages.
In the most recent survey conducted by the Covington County Economic Development Commission, Sitel reported approximately 600 jobs.
The call center located here in 2002 as ServiceZone, which was sold to ClientLogic in 2004. ClientLogic later merged with Sitel, which last year was acquired by the French company Groupe Acticall.
Economic development leaders are already at work trying to convince Sitel to rethink its decision, and developing a “Plan B” in case that effort fails.
Of particular concern is that no one in the community who could have potentially helped the company put together specialized training, or find additional employees had any inkling of the issues the company said forced its decision – the ability to fill enough seats at its Andalusia call center.
Like others who live an work here, we have found dedicated employees with strong work ethics, and we regret the light in which local residents have been painted in this announcement.
Any time a job is eliminated, it affects our community; this announcement, however, is a huge blow. This was heartbreaking news for the several hundred people who work at Sitel, and our hearts go out to them.