FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 16, 2001

Lila White
www.thedigitaldominion.com
(804) 692-3110


Cheryl Regan
VeriSign
(703) 948-4472
Jill Lawrence
VEDP
(804) 371-0049
Verisign To Locate A Major Call Center In Tazewell County
-Governor announces up to 100 new jobs in Southwest Virginia -


RICHMOND - Governor Jim Gilmore today announced that VeriSign, Inc., a leading provider of Internet trust services, will establish a call center near Bluefield. The center will mean approximately 100 new jobs and a $2.5 million investment for the area. Verisign will subcontract the operation of the center to another company, The Software Factory, which will staff a help desk and operate the call center.

“One of my highest priorities as Governor has been to spread the technology industry and its opportunities throughout the Commonwealth,” said Governor Gilmore. “I am pleased that Tazewell County and Southwest Virginia will benefit from such programs the enterprise zone tax credit, workforce services and the Governor’s Opportunity Fund.”

Governor Gilmore approved a $74,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Tazewell County with site preparation. U.S. Congressman Rick Boucher was instrumental in securing this project for Virginia. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority and Tazewell County assisted VeriSign with its decision. The company is eligible for further tax credits through the enterprise zone tax credit program provided by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide workforce training services.

VeriSign’s call center will support the company’s domain name and value added services, which have helped more than 6.5 million consumers and small businesses establish their web presence with domain name, e-mail and web site solutions. VeriSign, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSN) is the leading provider of infrastructure services to web sites, enterprises, electronic commerce service providers and individuals. The company's domain name, digital certificate and payment services provide critical web identity, authentication and transaction infrastructure required by online businesses to conduct secure e-commerce and communications.

“Virginia means business when it comes to technology,” said Doug Wolford, senior vice president and general manager, Web Presence Services, VeriSign. “We have been impressed with the state’s commitment to provide a skilled workforce and the other resources necessary to run a successful customer service operation. VeriSign is pleased to expand its presence in Virginia and support the state’s economy with new jobs for Tazewell County citizens.”

“This project is unique because it not only adds new jobs and private investment to the Commonwealth, but it also provides an excellent opportunity for The Software Factory to expand its operations,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Barry E. DuVal.

"I am extremely pleased by today's announcement and by the decision of VeriSign, Inc. and The Software Factory to locate a new customer service call center in Tazewell County,” said Congressman Boucher. “Governor Gilmore and the State of Virginia have provided outstanding assistance to my office and to Tazewell County throughout this project, and I commend the State's efforts. The jobs VeriSign and The Software Factory are bringing to Tazewell County will enrich the County's economy and greatly improve the quality of life for hundreds of our region's residents," Boucher said.


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