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UPDATED: Startek to lay off hundreds; city looking at possibilities for IDA-owned building

The Denver-based customer service company Startek plans to lay off hundreds of workers at the facility in Farmington, according to a notice filed with the state.

The company, in the notice, blamed a client’s “unexpected” decision to end a contract that was supposed to continue through next June. Startek said the move was “unforeseen and out of the control of the Startek organization.”

The first round of layoffs began on Thursday, and the final round will end in mid-August. The facility is located at 1828 Landrum Drive in Farmington in the industrial park.

The layoffs affect 472 employees. The vast majority are customer care representatives.

Prior to the Farmington City Council meeting Monday, City Administrator Greg Beavers said, “What (Startek) communicated to us directly was that they unexpectedly lost their contract with Spectrum or Charter Communications. That contract was due for normal expiration in June of 2023 but they were notified about three weeks ago that they were terminating the contract early.”

He said the closure obviously impacts the community but he doesn’t know for sure many area residents were affected. He believes some of the employees were working remotely from home and he doesn’t know how many were living outside the area.

“I’ve inquired with a contact at Startek corporate and I have not received a reply yet.”

Farmington leaders will be looking at what to do with the space.

“We are in a fortunate position that we own the building,” he said. “That is owned by Farmington Industrial Development Authority and has been under a very favorable lease to Startek now since January of 2006. Originally it was leased to Accent Marketing so that puts in a very favorable position to try and recruit a company to backfill those jobs.

“The question is what is that going to look like. I’ve talked to three other call center operators just today about their expansion/growth plans. Many of them are doing what other companies have done and they’ve let people begin to work from home so while the call center business, itself, may be there, do you need a 33,000 square foot employee footprint to operate It out of. It is my understanding that outbound call services tend to want to have people in-house more than the inbound call services so it depends on what kind of customer you are servicing.”

Beavers indicated they would be looking at all options.

Startek purchased Accent Marketing Services LLC in 2015. Accent had operated an inbound call center in Farmington since 2006. Before Accent, the space was used as an incubator for manufacturing businesses. 

Startek will be laying off about 472 employees, mostly customer care representatives.

Startek will be laying off about 472 employees, mostly customer care representatives.

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