Calling it a “huge economic win for Arizona,” Gov. Doug Ducey praised the addition of 1,125 new jobs in Tucson announced Thursday by Comcast Cable.
Fifteen percent of those positions will be filled by military reservists, veterans and their spouses or domestic partners, a decision the governor called “the smartest hire a company can make.”
With an annual payroll of $35 million, the company’s 100,000-square-foot facility — location yet to be announced — will be staffed by information-technology and customer-support workers. The center will house Spanish-speaking employees specializing in social media so customers can connect with Comcast via Twitter, Facebook or other outlets.
“This is not your father’s customer-support center,” said Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, who joined the governor in Phoenix Thursday for the announcement. “Tucson is proud to play an important part in Comcast’s future.”
Comcast had been looking nationwide for a site since February 2014, company officials said. Two other centers will open in Spokane, Washington, and in Albuquerque.
“Tucson has several key competitive advantages,” said Mike Eastman, senior director and customer account executive for Comcast. “There’s an abundance of customer-service labor, a bilingual workforce and the convenient location in the Mountain time zone.”
Comcast already has a service center on North Cortaro Road with more than 100 employees. The additional hires will propel Comcast into the top 40 employers in Southern Arizona. The locations will remain separate, as the existing one’s focus is on field tech support. The location of the new center will be announced once negotiations are complete, Rothschild said.
Company officials would not discuss pay associated with the new jobs, but based on the $35 million annual payroll, that would come out to about $31,000 per employee, plus benefits.
The Arizona Commerce Authority said no incentives were paid to Comcast, but the company is eligible for tax credits of up to $9,000 over three years once it begins hiring.
Rothschild said Comcast did not approach the city about incentives and that Tucson’s economic development team is prepared to help so Comcast can transition quickly.
Among the employee incentives Comcast plans to offer are reduced- or no-cost Xfinity products. The new center will have training labs, videoconferencing, a cafeteria and a fitness center.
The company currently has about 67,000 residential and business customers in the Tucson area.