Comcast will hire 500 in Bay Area
About 40 percent of jobs will be in the East Bay as firm prepares for new customers for its new services
By Marton Dunai
CONTRA COSTA TIMES
Unexpected success with phone service and other new products have prompted Philadelphia-based Comcast Corp. to plan to hire 500 people for its offices in the Bay Area -- a region it considers to span from Santa Rosa to Salinas -- the company said Monday.
Hiring will take place over the next three months. Comcast projects to have nearly 6,000 employees in the Bay Area's 40-plus locations by the end of the year. The company's regional headquarters are in San Ramon.
Half of the new hires will be frontline technicians, who help install and maintain networks and services for the company's customers, spokesman Andrew Johnson said.
About 200 people will join the company's three regional call centers -- including one in Livermore and one in Concord -- so in all, about 40 percent of the jobs will be offered in the East Bay, Johnson said. About 50 back-office workers, such as engineers and support staff, also will join, he said.
The boost comes ahead of an anticipated rush for phone, Internet and cable TV products. Comcast expects new customers as it rolls out new products and services such as video-on-demand, digital video recorders and high-definition programming.
Last year, the company launched its phone service, Comcast Digital Voice. The cable technology offers customers digital-quality phone calls with unlimited local and domestic long-distance calling, as well as Web access to voicemail, E911 service (which automatically locates the caller) and other features.
"That we increase the work force by almost 10 percent in the middle of the year ought to tell you something. Week after week, there's more people who want to sign up" for the voice service, Johnson said.
The service has been so successful locally that the company already has surpassed its assumptions made for the end of the year, Johnson said.
The company would not disclose local figures, but said it added 211,000 customers nationally in the first three months of this year. It expects to reach 1 million U.S. customers by the end of the year.