Eastern Kentucky call center to add 300 customer service jobs

A partnership at a customer-service call center in Perry County is projected to create 300 jobs, state and local officials announced Wednesday.

Intuit Inc., which is headquartered in California and makes financial products such as QuickBooks and TurboTax, plans to hire 150 people by the end of this year and another 150 next year to work at the Sykes Enterprises call center, which is in an industrial park near Hazard on a reclaimed surface coal mine.

The workers will provide customer service for Intuit’s products and services, according to a news release from the office of Gov. Matt Bevin.

Sykes will hire the people and operate the center, which has a long history of hiring and then laying off workers.

“We are grateful for new jobs and partnerships that Intuit will bring to our region,” said Perry County Judge-Executive Scott Alexander.

The project will include renovating a facility Sykes has operated since 2007.

The company has a history dating back 20 years in Eastern Kentucky, operating call centers in Perry and Pike counties that together employed more than 1,000 people in the early 2000s.

The company shuttered both by early 2004 even as it expanded centers in Central America.

Sykes reopened the Hazard center in 2007, but announced in June that it would lay off 179 employees.

Sykes officials began working with Intuit after that to set up their partnership and create jobs, according to Bevin’s office.