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200 AT&T jobs coming to Rantoul

RANTOUL — About 200 new jobs will be coming to Rantoul as a result of a shift in employment at AT&T.

RANTOUL — About 200 new jobs will be coming to Rantoul as a result of a shift in employment at AT&T.

The company will relocate the positions from its Springfield facility to its Rantoul call center at 1 Aviation Center Drive on the former Chanute Air Force Base.

Marty Richter, an AT&T spokesman, said the positions are “call center positions, customer care for wireless customers.”

He said the employees who are being offered the opportunity to transfer to Rantoul are hourly and union-represented.

Any AT&T employee who will transfer to Rantoul will do so by Aug. 2. Some might make the change sooner, according to the official.

Richter said work currently being done in Springfield will be consolidated “into other company facilities.”

He said the company is closing the Springfield call center, and all positions will be relocated to other AT&T centers, most of them to Rantoul.

He said AT&T is offering affected Springfield employees the opportunity to relocate to Rantoul. They would receive a relocation allowance.

“This won’t result in a reduction of our head count in Illinois,” Richter said.

He said he can’t speculate how many will choose to transfer to Rantoul.

“Employees who elect not to follow their work to Rantoul are free to apply for other AT&T jobs and will receive priority consideration for openings in customer call centers across the country,” Richter said.

He said any employees who leave the payroll will receive severance pay.

Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith said state Rep. Chad Hays, R-Catlin, informed him of the change last week.

The mayor said the village of Rantoul is working to provide information about housing, schools and “ancillary information” for the community.

“We’re looking at updating our website as well to inform our future residents of the opportunities,” Smith said. “Our Realtors need to be notified, too, of a possible influx of people moving in.”

Added Smith, “Economically, this is a nice boost (to) Rantoul.”

Richter said the company remains committed to Illinois “and (continues) to hire in the state.”

He said AT&T hired more than 1,600 employees in Illinois in 2013 and the first four months of this year. The company is hiring for more than 230 additional job openings in the state, Richter added.

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