A group of U.S. businesses has announced a goal of creating 100,000 call center jobs in the country over the next two years, using broadband as the supporting infrastructure.
Members of the newly announced Jobs4America, many of them call center providers, said Thursday that the growing ubiquity of high-speed broadband will enable them to hire more people, some working at call centers and some working at home. The new group kicked off its campaign in Indiana.
Many of the call center jobs will be brought into the U.S. from overseas, according to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski joined Jobs4America at the event.
"Broadband innovation isn't just a vital spark that improves our lives and transforms the way we work and live, it's an economic driver that can create new jobs that are essential for getting America back to work," Jim Kohlenberger, executive director of Jobs4America, said in a statement. "Broadband is to contact centers what electricity was to the communication sector, or what television was to the news and entertainment industries -- a breakthrough technology that can reshape entire sectors of the economy."
Accent Marketing Services, which hosted the kick-off event in Indiana, said it plans to hire 2,000 workers in the next two years, with 1,000 working at home. Sprint Nextel, another Jobs4America member, said it plans to hire 600 telephone support workers.
Members of the group challenged other companies to create jobs in the U.S. Jobs4America members announced more than 13,000 jobs at Thursday's event.
Companies create about 4,000 call center jobs in the U.S. each month, the FCC said.
"This initiative involves meaningful job creation that will have a meaningful impact across America," Genachowski said in a statement. "Bringing broadband to your town and home in the 21st century is like bringing in electricity in the 20th -- connecting you and your community to the larger economy and opening up new worlds of commerce and opportunity."
Members of Jobs4America include the American Teleservices Association, Aegis Global, Back Office Support Systems and the National Telecommuting Institute.
Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.