AT&T to bring
424 jobs to EP for tech support center
By David Crowder / El Paso Times
Article Launched: 02/14/2007 12:00:00 AM MST
AT&T asked for and got a small tax break from the City
Council on Tuesday for a big project that will mean 424
new jobs and a $10 million payroll.
The communications giant wants to establish a new technical
support center in El Paso to help its DSL broadband Internet
Glen Sirles, AT&T's vice president of broadband
services, noted that those types of customer service jobs
are usually contracted out and handled in places such as
India, and that the decision to do it in El Paso
represents a change.
"We would like to do those jobs ourselves," Sirles
said. "Your decision today is critical."
The company intends to refurbish and equip a building in
the Butterfield Industrial Park that it leases from El Paso
Interna tional Airport and is asking for incentives amounting
to $109,955 in city property tax rebates over five years.
Mayor John Cook commended the company
for bringing those jobs back.
"Now when I have trouble
with my DSL service, I
won't have to listen with an Indian accent," Cook said.
AT&T, which now Paso, intends to make $650,000 in improvements,
to bring in $1.6 million worth of equipment and to create
jobs with wages that will rise over 30 percent in five years.
Hourly jobs will pay more than $10 an hour, and the company
reports that the average pay will be $23,237.
"It's a small incentive, but it's important to these
companies to know we want them," said East Side city
Rep. Presi Ortega.
South-West city Rep. Beto O'Rourke, who generally opposes
tax incentives, said he would support the incentives only
if AT&T would locate the support center Downtown.
Sirles said that would not be possible.
The council voted 5-2 in favor of the tax incentive, and
added an offer of a 100 percent property tax break for 10
years if the company decides at some point to locate Downtown.