Updated: June 02, 2021 11:19 PM
Created: June 02, 2021 08:18 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Cellular giant T-Mobile said Wednesday that, yes, it is still going ahead with plans for a big new call center and more than 1000 jobs in the Rochester area.
The project has been on the drawing board since the merging companies T-Mobile and Sprint announced plans for it in May 2019. It has repeatedly been delayed since but a new statement from the company reiterated it’s coming.
“We hear a lot of rumors but nothing definitive,” said Henrietta Town supervisor Steve Schultz.
Back when the project was originally unveiled, T-Mobile identified a lot on Clay Road as its location and Schultz says he’s still hoping the town will see the new call center and 1,300 promised new jobs there, but he and the rest of the Rochester area are stuck on standby.
“It gets a little frustrating when, effectively, some people were playing politics is the way I look at it,” he said.
The plan for the Henrietta call center stalled as New York Attorney General Tish James and other state prosecutors called for the merger to be blocked. Their attempts were rejected and then, during the appeals process, the attorney general and the company reached a settlement.
Then, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President Bob Duffy said, came COVID-19. That, he said, has delayed but not derailed the plan.
“Last I heard, we were full speed ahead,“ Duffy said. “They were great. They have new leadership at T-Mobile. But my understanding is the new CEO a new team are super supportive of what they have proposed earlier, for the state-of-the-art call center here in Rochester.“
Duffy said it’s not clear yet where the project will go because T-Mobile has shifted its location targets to include the City of Rochester.
On Wednesday evening, a T-Mobile representative sent out a statement announcing, “We’re still committed to Rochester! We are actively working with the City to find a facility in Rochester that will best meet all the needs of our employees and business in terms of space, location, and availability, among other things. Once we find the right location, we are looking forward to being a part of the community there."
After initially criticizing the court’s decision on the merger. James announced she’s pleased the merger will bring new jobs to Rochester.
“They were very focused on issues of workforce,“ Duffy said, “and creating access and especially being able to provide jobs for, quite frankly, underemployed unemployed underserved communities.“
Duffy added that he has had limited contact with T-Mobile executives but said, last he heard, the company was hoping to have a groundbreaking, somewhere, this summer.
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