EchoStar Communications Corp.
Governor Gilmore Announces Echostar's Decision to Locate Technical Support Center in Montgomery Coun
--Company will create 1,400 new jobs for New River Valley; EchoStar to hold hiring expo- -
Richmond - Governor Jim Gilmore today announced that EchoStar Communications Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH, DISHP) will build a new customer service center in Montgomery County to serve its more than 3.4 million DISH Network satellite TV customers nationwide. The company will create 1,400 new jobs for Virginians. The Commonwealth successfully competed with Texas for the $16 million investment.
"EchoStar's decision confirms that all regions of Virginia can benefit from the state's leadership in recruiting cutting-edge technology firms," Governor Gilmore said. "The eager workforce in Southwest Virginia cemented this deal by proving to EchoStar that they have the technology-savvy skills needed to help this company meet its challenges now and in the future."
EchoStar's DISH Network is the fastest growing direct broadcast satellite television provider and equipment designer in the United States and is the first television provider to offer 500 channels. Headquartered in Littleton, Colo., EchoStar has over 7,000 employees worldwide. EchoStar plans to build a 100,000-square-foot inbound sales and technical support center in Christiansburg.
"Montgomery County was an ideal choice over the other cities we were considering because it scored the highest on our list of criteria for meeting the needs of our new sales and technical support center," said Soraya Hesabi-Cartwright, senior vice president of Sales, Customer Service and Human Resources for EchoStar. "In our search, we looked at the labor force availability, population, wages, business costs and the qualified, skilled workforce. This project would not have been possible without the vision and invitation of Congressman Rick Boucher, the tenacity of the Commonwealth of Virginia and Governor Jim Gilmore, as well as the foresight of Secretary of Commerce and Trade Barry E. DuVal."
"This project resulted from an impressive team effort of local, regional and state economic development leaders," Secretary of Commerce and Trade Barry E. DuVal added. "We are pleased that EchoStar has placed confidence in Southwest Virginia and its dedicated workforce."
Governor Gilmore approved a $750,000 grant from the Governor's Opportunity Fund to help close the deal for Virginia and assist Montgomery County with site preparation. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the New River Valley Economic Development Alliance, the Town of Christiansburg and Montgomery -More- County were instrumental in assisting the company with its decision. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide workforce training services.
Congressman Rick Boucher stated, "I am grateful to my friend Charlie Ergen, the CEO of EchoStar, for accepting my personal invitation to consider Southwest Virginia as the site for EchoStar's next customer service center and for permitting Soraya and her team to spend two days with me evaluating the strong assets of our region. I also thank EchoStar for its decision to make such a large investment in our regional economy."
EchoStar initially expects to employ 600 inbound sales and technical support representatives in Christiansburg. A temporary training center for new employees will open until EchoStar's new facility is operational this fall. The new facility will include a 1,500-space parking area as well as state-of-the-art technology and design.
EchoStar will hold a job fair to begin hiring for inbound technical support and sales positions on April 4 and April 6 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Montgomery Enterprise Center at 755 Roanoke St., in Christiansburg. EchoStar will also be hiring for positions in management, human resources, facilities, training and information technologies.
EchoStar currently has four inbound sales and customer service centers with over 5,000 customer service representatives in Colorado, Pennsylvania and Texas who are available 24 hours a day to assist with programming, billing and technical questions from DISH Network customers across the nation. EchoStar offers competitive wages and benefits.
DISH Network is EchoStar's state-of-the-art DBS system with the capacity to offer customers 500 channels of digital video and CD-quality audio programming as well as fully MPEG-2/DVB compliant hardware and installation. DISH Network, a trademark of EchoStar Communications Corporation, currently serves over 3.4 million customers nationwide. DISH Network was ranked number one in customer satisfaction among satellite/cable TV subscribers by J.D. Power and Associates in 1999. EchoStar is included in the Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) which contains the largest non-financial companies on the Nasdaq Stock Market. For more information, contact 1-800-333-DISH (3474) or visit www.dishnetwork.com.