Sykes expected to lay off more than 300 people Friday

More than 300 employees are expected to be laid off, but there is some hope jobs will return.


MILTON-FREEWATER -- More than 300 employees at Sykes Enterprises Inc. may be clocking in for the last time Friday.

The company, which provides customer contact management solutions through call centers across the globe, is expected to proceed with the layoffs it announced for the plant last November.

The Florida-based corporation said at the time 336 jobs would be eliminated at the plant, Milton-Freewater's largest private employer. Whether that number has held over the last two months was not clear this morning. Sykes' corporate public relations manager Andrea Burnett was not available for comment.

Burnett said last November the layoffs -- the third major cuts announced at the call center since it opened on the hill a little more than a decade ago -- are a reflection of the cyclical nature of the company's contracts.

The call center employees work on behalf of different contracts for corporations ranging from financial institutions to communications companies.

"Our business, the way it is, there are times when we have to adapt to the market and client needs," Burnett said at the time. "Fortunately, we have experienced tremendous growth over the last two years. There is still demand for outsourcing solutions, both with current clients and new ones."

Last year's announcement of the job cuts was intended to meet federal regulations required for companies planning mass layoffs. But Burnett said at the time officials had hoped to set up new contracts before the positions would be eliminated this week.

That doesn't appear to have happened.

Milton-Freewater City Manager Linda Hall said this morning she's had Human Resources staff contact local Sykes representatives for updates on the layoffs.

She said she's optimistic the company will have new contracts in place in the near future and will be able to bring back the majority of the employees whose jobs will be eliminated Friday.

Until then she said the city is trying to circulate word that the U.S. Census Bureau continues to seek temporary employees in Milton-Freewater for the 2010 Census. Those interested in learning more can call 1-866-861-2010.

Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at or 526-8321.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment

Click here to sign in