Verizon Wireless plans to hire 90 more customer service employees at its Bangor call center by the end of the year, bringing the total to about 300.
Michael Murphy, a Verizon Wireless spokesman, said Wednesday that the new hires are the result of rising use of its networks for serving up data, primarily to smartphones and tablets.
The announcement of Verizon’s plan to expand its workforce in Bangor comes shortly after L.L. Bean announced its plans to close its Bangor call center in 2016.
Murphy said Verizon Wireless had planned over the past few years to expand the Bangor call center and will accommodate the new workers at its location at 6 Telcom Drive. The company will hold a job fair there from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 4.
“We did a lot of renovations to the building and put ourselves in a good position for this type of growth,” Murphy said.
He didn’t offer an estimate of the starting salary for those new jobs, but openings at the call center in 2010 paid about $27,000 per year. The average annual pay at call centers in Penobscot County has been on the decline in recent years, falling to $25,239 last year, in preliminary estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
That’s nearly $7,000 lower than the statewide average annual pay of $32,110 for call center jobs in 2013. The national average was $31,724 last year.
Murphy said applicants for the jobs can pre-apply online, through the portal at verizon.com/jobs, to qualify for an interview during Thursday’s job fair.
Late Tuesday, he did not have totals of how many people had filled out applications online in advance of the job fair.
He said the additions are an overall gain for Verizon Wireless employment in Maine but could not say whether the positions were new for the company or moved from a call center elsewhere.
In February, Verizon Wireless closed call centers employing about 5,200 workers in Connecticut, Pennsylvania and California. About 2,200 were relocated. The closures, scheduled for May 8, left the company with 26 call centers nationwide and about 73,000 employees, according to Bloomberg.
An earlier version of this story reported that the Bangor call center is at 6 Telecom Drive. It is 6 Telcom Drive.