April 14, 1998

Lila White
(804) 692-3110

Jill Lawrence
(804) 371-0049
Governor Gilmore Announces Major Telecommunications Center for Bristol
-- Sprint to employ 500 in expanding call center operation - -

Bristol - Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore today announced the decision by Sprint to locate a major telecommunications center in the City of Bristol. Two hundred employees currently located in a Bristol, Tennessee facility will be moved to the new center in the former United Cities Gas Building. The company anticipates a total employment base of 500 by September. Outbound sales and customer care and inbound sales and customer service functions will be conducted at the center. Sprint will be investing up to $2 million in new equipment at the facility.

"Sprint has dialed the right number in making this decision for Virginia," said Governor Gilmore. "Our outstanding workforce and positive business climate will help this excellent corporate citizen continue to prosper. Sprint's growing presence in Southwest Virginia benefits the Bristol area and the entire two-state region."

Sprint is a global communications company - at the forefront in integrating long distance, local and wireless communications services, and one of the world's largest carriers of Internet traffic. Sprint operates the United States' only nationwide all-digital, fiber optic network and is the leader in advanced data communications services. Sprint has $15 billion in annual revenues and serves more than 16 million business and residential customers. Sprint's presence in Virginia includes major federal contracting and sales facilities employing over 2,100 workers in Fairfax County alone.

"Sprint's heritage in Southwest Virginia and Upper East Tennessee dates back many years, to the beginning of local telephone service in the area," said Tom Sokol, Vice President of External Affairs of Sprint's Local Telecommunications Division for the states of Tennessee and Virginia. "Today, Sprint continues to bring the latest in voice and data telecommunications services to the area. Sprint's new TELECENTER facility in Bristol, which will offer clients state-of-the-art call center and telemarketing services, reaffirms our continuing commitment to the area."

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, The Mount Rogers Partnership, the City of Bristol, and the Bristol Virginia Economic Development Commission assisted the company with its decision. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide workforce training services.

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