Verizon Closing Rancho Cordova Call Center in January

RANCHO CORDOVA -- Verizon Wireless has announced it will shut down its Rancho Cordova call center in January. With it, the region will lose a thousand local jobs.

Rancho Cordova's City Council got the call Wednesday.

"We were told that they would be relocating a thousand employees at that location," said Maria Kniestedt, a spokesperson for the City of Rancho Cordova.

The thousand employees were told they could stay with the company but would have to move to either Texas, South Carolina or Florida.

"It's not good for the city period," said Rancho Cordova resident Fred Holder.

Verizon is offering employees who want to move a $500 stipend and $10,000 in relocation expenses. Separation packages are being offered to those who don't. Some we talked to feel that's the same as firing the employees, since few will want to move across state lines.

"It hurts everybody, it hurts all the families," Holder said.

"A girl I used to work with went to work there. I don't know if she's still there or not but she has two small kids," said Rancho Cordova resident Sandy Wiley.

The call center opened in 2003, but it, along with four others across the country, will close as the telecommunications company consolidates.

"We didn't know about this 'til this afternoon, so no we don't have anyone lined up for that particular space," Kniestedt said.

She said she believes the city will bring back some of the jobs lost.

"The campus itself that Verizon is on is a beautiful location and so we're confident that other employers will be attracted to that location," she said.

Already the city had some success. In June, Rancho Cordova convinced Freeform, a New York-based water craft company to open here instead of Texas.

"We have a community enhancement fund which allows us some flexibility to offer incentives to employers who are wanting to come to the city," Kniestedt said.

The company said some Verizon employees will transfer to the Folsom office, but that's only a small number of workers.