Kingsburg has been selected by T-Mobile and Sprint as the site for a new telephone call center that will eventually employ about 1,000 people.
T-Mobile US and Sprint Corp. made the joint announcement on Wednesday afternoon, but the companies did not disclose a schedule for building or opening the center. The telcom giants say that by opening in Kingsburg and two other new U.S. locations and expanding other centers they will create 5,600 jobs by 2021.
The Kingsburg call center is pending the finalization of a merger between the two telecommunication companies to form what they are calling New T-Mobile. The companies’ CEOs announced their plans for a merger in May 2018.
Kingsburg City Manager Alexander Henderson said a specific site for the call center has not been disclosed. While the companies’ statement only describes choosing “the Kingsburg area of Fresno County” for the location, Henderson said it is his understanding that the companies are continuing negotiations with property owners on multiple sites, all within the city limits.
“Between the jobs and an economic boost from having 1,000 people coming into Kingsburg, it’s very good news,” Henderson told The Bee. Selection of a site inside the city limits would also likely have a positive effect on property taxes received by the city, whether New T-Mobile move into an existing building or opts for new construction.
Kingsburg’s population was estimated by the state Department of Finance at just under 12,400 people last year. According to the state Employment Development Department, the city’s workforce included about 5,800, with unemployment of about 500 people earlier this year. The city’s location near the intersection of three county lines – Fresno, Kings and Tulare counties – means the new call center will likely draw its workforce from throughout the region.
Unemployment in Fresno County was estimated at about 8.9 percent in February, with about 41,400 people out of work.
“Employees at the CEC will earn wages on average over 50% higher than the average wages in Fresno County, which will also make the New T-Mobile one of the highest-paying employers in the area,” the companies said in their announcement. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average annual median income of workers in Kingsburg was $36,131 in 2017, compared to a countywide annual median income of $25,619.
Wednesday’s announcement comes less than two months after the companies said they had narrowed their California search for a new call center site to the Central Valley.