Verizon to add 500 jobs in Tulsa for financial center
BY ROBERT EVATT World Staff Writer
Friday, January 18, 2013
1/18/13 at 1:48 PM
Verizon mulled over numerous potential locations for its new financial services hub, said Michelle Robinson, vice president for external relations -- south area for the company.
But after an extensive review, the company ultimately chose Tulsa as the site for the hub and its planned 500 jobs.
“Once the valuation was complete, Tulsa, Oklahoma emerged as an ideal location,” she said. “We chose Tulsa for a number of very sound business reasons, including the very simple fact that it’s a fantastic place to live, work and generally do business.”
Robinson and others made the announcement Friday at its facility in Cherokee Industrial Park, which already employs 900.
She noted that the additional jobs, which will handle accounts payable, accounting and other financial activities for Verizon’s wholesale and enterprise segments, would be “high-paying,” though she did not specify an income range.
The jobs would start to be filled in the third quarter of the year and ramp up through 2015.
Gov. Mary Fallin, speaking during the announcement, said it was exciting to have a Fortune 500 company decide to expand in Tulsa.
“This is a big deal,” she said. “We knew that Verizon has many other options and places they could look up to add jobs and make investments.”
Robinson said various factors that caused Verizon to tap Tulsa for the addition was the area’s quality of life, its low cost of living, and its strong labor pool.
In a press release distributed before the event, Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett praised the move.
“Tulsa continues to establish itself as a national leader in job creation,” he said. “The commitment of outstanding companies such as Verizon helps us solidify our place as a top city and region for many areas of economic development, and we congratulate Verizon on its continued success and growth.”
Mike Neal, president and CEO of the Tulsa Regional Chamber, said the announcement was one of the most significant the area has seen in recent years, and that he was thrilled Verizon chose to share their success with Tulsa.
“Verizon’s decision to build a new hub employing more than 500 skilled workers is a tremendous boost to our region’s economic development efforts and reflects the spirit and commitment of Verizon as they continue a tradition of growth and investment in Tulsa,” he said. “Verizon is well-positioned in the marketplace, and our community is fortunate that, among its many national locations, that Tulsa was chosen for their vital financial services hub.”
Neal estimated the new job creation will support an additional 616 jobs in the regional economy and generate an impact of $60.4 million in total income.
The expansion won’t involve any physical growth, as Verizon will fill unused space at its building at 6929 N. Lakewood within Cherokee Industrial Park.
The facility already houses wholesale sales, information services, engineering, network operations, finance, customer service, marketing, corporate facilities and real estate, legal, credit, collections and human resources operations for Verizon.
Then operating as WorldCom, the company purchased the building from Memorex-Telex in 1995 for $8.5 million, and eventually increased the office space to one million square feet.
Verizon currently leases space within the building to Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Capital One Auto Finance Inc.
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin speaks during an announcement Friday in Tulsa, by the company that it will add some 500 jobs to the Tulsa location. MICHAEL WYKE/Tulsa World
The Verizon campus Friday in north Tulsa, where it was announced the company will add some 500 jobs to this location. MICHAEL WYKE/Tulsa World
Michelle Robinson, president of Verizon's Southeast Region, speaks during an announcement Friday in Tulsa, by the company that it will add some 500 jobs to the Tulsa location. MICHAEL WYKE/Tulsa World
Employee and managment, city and state dignitaries listen as Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin speaks during an announcement Friday in Tulsa, by the company that it will add some 500 jobs to the Tulsa location. MICHAEL WYKE/Tulsa World
Exterior of the Verizon Building at the Cherokee Industrial Park in Tulsa. MICHAEL WYKE/Tulsa World