A CenturyLink spokesman Martin Flynn confirmed Wednesday that the company plans to lay off 51 employees at its “assignment center” in Hood River.
CenturyLink plans to close its Hood River this summer, the company told employees Tuesday that they have jobs through Aug. 2.
"CenturyLink, as all businesses, continually evaluates its cost structure and business practices and adjusts its operations to meet the needs of the business and its customers," the company said in a written statement. "After careful consideration, CenturyLink has made the difficult decision to close its Hood River call assignment center."
“They are great employees. We know this is difficult, but it is a business decision as CenturyLink consolidates,” Flynn said.
“We are working with the employees on an individual basis, to see what we can do. Most will be offered the opportunity, should they choose to do so, to move elsewhere in the company. They won’t be assured of the same job, but something else with CenturyLink.” Flynn said those moves would be to facilities in Seattle or elsewhere in Oregon.
CenturyLink said it will retain its construction and engineering operations in Hood River, employing between 40 and 50 people.
“Those employees and the technicians who serve our customers will still be providing those services in Hood River,” Flynn said.
“Hood River is a smaller community and we have had a long-time presence there,” Flynn said
The facility has a long history in the Columbia River Gorge and gone through a number of corporate transitions.
Once known as United Telephone, the Hood River facility became Sprint in 1992. It changed ownership after Sprint spun its local phone operations off into a new company called Embarq. CenturyTel bought Embarq in 2009, and CenturyTel then changed its own name to CenturyLink.