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SYKES to create 400 jobs in Sumter

April 22, 2009

Item Staff Writer

A ray of sun is breaking through Sumter’s economic dark clouds as SYKES, a leading business outsourcing company, will soon be hiring as many as 400 people.

Next week the company will host a job fair at the Sumter Mall, where the company hopes to find its first 100 new employees for the start-up phase of its operations here.

“We are looking for individuals with the passion to serve and the skills, knowledge and talent to thrive in a customer service position,” said Andrea Burnett, director of corporate communications. “Systems background is preferred, however, we will provide training. We also have some positions for which knowledge of enterprise networking is a plus.”

The Tampa, Fla.-based SYKES operates call centers around the country and has contracted with a leading communications provider for the facility here, said Burnett, who declined to name the company. Officials with the company have leased space in the Sumter Mall, where they are constructing a new call center. They plan to fill the first phase of employees at the job fair, which will be held next week from Thursday through Saturday at the mall. Applicants are encouraged to bring their resumes.

“The expansion of our U.S. operations to Sumter … is a testament to the continued demand we see in outsourcing,” said Star King, vice president of United States operations. “We are grateful for the support of the Sumter community and surrounding area as we begin our recruitment efforts in support of the new site. I am confident the commitment, dedication and outstanding work ethic SYKES found here will lead to success for our clients and for the people of Sumter.”

SYKES officials will begin training all new employees immediately, and they hope to open the call center for business within two months.

“We’re very excited,” said Jay Schwedler, president and chief executive officer of the Sumter Development Board. “We’ve worked with SYKES for close to a year on this project, and it’s a great win for the community and a great fit for the company. And we’re absolutely thrilled that in this economic climate, Sumter has again showed its mettle in securing another great corporate partner.”

The tri-county area has been rocked by soaring unemployment rates. At the end of March, Sumter’s jobless rate stood at 13.3 percent. Neighboring Clarendon and Lee counties were at 15.9 and 14.8 percent, respectively.

Schwedler said that the arrival of SYKES illustrates the importance of Shaw Air Force Base, when it comes to economic development and employment.

“Shaw is a huge economic engine in and of itself,” he said, “but this is another example of how Shaw’s presence in Sumter adds to the economic vitality of the community.”

According to its Web site, SYKES is a global leader of business process outsourcing. The company contracts with Fortune 1000 companies around the world, primarily in the communications, financial services, healthcare, technology and transportation and leisure industries.

Contact Staff Writer Annabelle Robertson at (803) 774-1250. For more information about Sumter, visit

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“We are grateful for the support we have received here in Sumter and South Carolina. Dynamic
local organizations and so many individuals have definitely helped us expand. More jobs at Apex
help the entire Sumter community. It’s great to be a part of that.”
Ryan Cagle
Vice President, ABS and Project Management Apex Tool Group, LLC.