Atlanta ISP moves customer service to US
September 14, 2021
Atlanta-based Internet service provider EarthLink is spending $5.4 million to build a customer support center in Norton, a project that is expected to create 285 jobs, InvestSWVA and Governor Ralph Northam announced Tuesday.
As part of moving its customer service operations from overseas to the United States, EarthLink will build a 30,000 square foot facility on a site of the 200-acre Intersection Project development, owned by Lonesome Pine Regional Industrial Facilities Authority, near the northeast junction of US Route 23 and US Highway 58. Wise County is providing temporary office space while the building is under construction. EarthLink will be the first tenant of the Intersection project.
“EarthLink’s new support center in Norton will play a major role in bringing the company’s customer service operations to the United States, creating economic opportunities and new jobs for Virginians,” Northam said in a statement. a statement. “Rural parts of the Commonwealth compete successfully to attract projects because of their infrastructure, business-friendly operating costs and dedicated, highly skilled workforce.”
Founded in 1994, EarthLink is an American Internet service provider focused on small businesses and individuals. The company went public on the Nasdaq in 1997.
“Having grown up in this field, I am very proud to continue EarthLink’s efforts to deliver award-winning customer experiences through our new sales and service center in Norton,” EarthLink CEO Glenn Goad said in a statement. a statement. “We look forward to a long partnership with this community and the employees who will be part of EarthLink.”
Called “Project Homecoming,” the recruiting effort for this project began in November 2019. Members of InvestSWVA’s marketing campaign team and Virginia Legislators Del. Terry Kilgore, Senator Ben Chafin (prior to his death on January 1, 2021), Senator Todd Pillion and Del. Israel O’Quinn, along with LENOWISCO District Planning Commission Executive Director Duane Miller and InvestSWVA Principal Consultant Will Payne, led the process. The team flew to Atlanta to introduce the EarthLink team and held more than 100 in-person, Zoom and phone meetings over 22 months, according to a press release.
“This announcement is the culmination of much hard work and effort from local and state leaders, the EarthLink team and many others,” Miller said in a statement. “We are all thrilled to have a company with an iconic name like EarthLink, which has always been honored with the coveted Great Place to Work certification, located in Southwest Virginia.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Norton, LENOWISCO District Planning Commission, InvestSWVA, Lonesome Pine Regional Industrial Facilities Authority and Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission to secure the project.
Northam has approved a $686,500 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund New Business Incentive Program. The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission has approved a $62,500 grant from the Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund. EarthLink is eligible to receive benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, and the Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit for full-time jobs created. The company will also receive funding and services from VEDP’s Virginia Jobs Investment Program, which provides state funding to support employee recruitment and training to companies that create jobs.