Colorado Springs was gearing up for an extension to their job base as Apple (News
) had apparently put plans in place for a technical support center. The center was expected to help customers with their iPhones and iPods.
This planned expansion into the Colorado Springs area was considered to be a significant boost for the local economy and the job market. Now, those who were finally beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel are being forced to look for jobs elsewhere.
While workers had already been hired by a third-party company on Apple’s behalf, it has been reported that the technology giant decided to cancel the project and notified workers who were stunned by the news.
A number of the proposed jobs were expected to be home-based, providing opportunity for certain workers who needed such flexibility in order to hold a decent paying job. The cancellation of the project not only eliminates that opportunity, but could easily create hardship for those who were counting on their new job.
It has not yet been made clear if Apple ever even committed to opening the center in Colorado Springs, which would have employed 500 workers initially and 850 when the center was in full operation. The company isn’t talking, and it’s no wonder considering the poor perception that such a move leaves in its wake.
According to one of the would-be workers, it was unclear whether recent Apple ads in The Gazette inviting online applications for work-at-home technical customer service representatives were related to the support center.
Given the response that these ads generated, it is clear that the demand for such positions in Colorado Springs is significant. Whether or not the local infrastructure, economy or labor pool proves strong enough to attract larger market players remains to be seen.
While an Apple spokesperson has declined comment, Colorado Springs Economic Development Corporation President, Mike Kazmierski, said he was unaware of any Apple initiatives in Colorado Springs.
Such a statement indicates that Apple never was completely on board with such a proposal, if there ever was one at all. This type of fumble could have a far-reaching impact on the local job market, building distrust among the labor pool.
Could it be possible that New York-based Volt Information Sciences recruited and hired workers for Apple before the technology company even made the final decision on the Colorado Springs center? The company has yet to confirm or dispute the claim.
One Colorado Springs resident, Jerry Reynolds, shared with the local Gazette copies of e-mails that he claims to have received from local Volt recruiters. The first was dated September 23 and included information regarding the time and data of his training.
A second e-mail provided by Reynolds was received via e-mail on Thursday from a second Volt recruiter that explained: "The Volt Colorado Springs Call Center project you were hired for has been cancelled. The project was cancelled due to Economic conditions and improved quality of the product resulting in a reduced volume to the Support lines."
Unfortunately for Reynolds, both he and his wife had taken jobs with the purported center and were expecting to be paid $15 an hours for fielding iPhone (News - Alert) customer calls. Those employees who would be fielding iPod customer calls were to be $13 per hour, according to Reynolds.
"Financially, it kind of really puts us in a bind," Reynolds told The Gazette. He and his wife moved to the Springs three years ago from Ohio. "You're talking $66,000 a year between the two of us. That's a substantial amount of money. Yeah, we're angry about it. There should have been some communication on what was going on."
Reynolds and his wife are not the only individuals that have felt the pain of this situation and there is likely to be more of an outcry from those who pinned their hopes on the promise of Apple coming to Colorado Springs.
As much of a mess that has been created in this situation, until it is clearly identified who is at fault, it is difficult to make amends and move forward. Whether Volt jumped the gun or an Apple miscommunication is to blame, this mess leaves a black eye for both companies and their response will dictate their perceived positioning in this market moving forward.