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Media Truth

U.S. Solutions Dumps Bristol Virginia for Bristol Tennessee

by Lewis Loflin

U.S. Solutions stands out as another example of how telecommunications corporate welfare industry has failed the citizens of Bristol. In this case Bristol Tennessee was the victor in luring this layoff prone low-wage call center company to cross the street (State Street) and reap millions in taxpayer handouts.

Richard Venable, CEO for NETWORKS Sullivan County Partnership claims the firm will reap undisclosed millions from Tennessee, Sullivan County, and Bristol Tennessee. They will move their 318 workers from Bristol and Abingdon to the old Touchstone building om West sate Street.

The firm has been given lots of subsidies and direct access to BVU's high speed fiber optic systems. The $120 million public investment was touted as key to job creation in 2002 and today has scored zilch for Bristol, Virginia. This move along with an earlier move by Sprint to jump the state line for Tennessee incentives has cost Bristol Virginia 913 jobs.

Yet Mr. Venable and friends are claiming the "creation" of 1,113 "new jobs" based on nothing more than moving down the street and a promise to hire 200 new workers by U.S. Solutions sometime in the future. The Herald Standard in Uniontown PA September 26, 2013 is reporting they are firing 306 local employees there, so I guess it's take a pay cut and move to Bristol.

Former Bristol, Va., City Manager Dewey Cashwell at the time grumbled, "We've known for some while that was a prospect, so it's not a surprise. The workers will still be in the local area, so we don't foresee any dramatic economic effect on us." (BHC August 31, 2012)

Mr. Cashwell has since resigned under mysterious circumstances over unspecified conflicts with the Bristol Virginia City Council. The Bristol Herald Courier (June 28, 2013) reported Cashwell got a years salary ($120,000) and tons of other goodies. The City Council wanted him gone. He was behind what is called The Falls retail development that will cost taxpayers at least $65 million in public handouts to develop retail space for a Cabela's at Exit 5 on I-81. They claim the resignation wasn't related to that.

Here is an example of the nonsense that showed up in the Associated Press August 30th, 2012:

New call center to hire 548 in Bristol, Tenn.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - U.S. Solutions Group will open a call center and hire 548 people in Bristol, Tenn. The project was announced Thursday by Gov. Bill Haslam, Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty and Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey.

Hagerty said the state worked closely with U.S. Solutions Group's management and sees this project serving as the basis for long-term job growth in the Tri-Cities area. Recruiting and hiring has begun for full-time positions. Interested applicants should apply online at www.ussolutionsgroup.com.

Yet the Kingsport Times-News also distorted the facts on June 12th, 2013 to quote,

In October 2012, U.S. Solutions Group, Inc. opened its first call center in Tennessee, investing $4.1 million and creating 548 jobs

Wrong, they only moved existing jobs across the street or simply moving existing jobs around the community. Even more interesting is the link for job applications, www.ussolutionsgroup.com, is down as of September 2013.

Here is what this crap company is really about. U.S. Solutions is part of something "A Teleperformance Company" that's involved in massive employee firings and dislocations across the country. The South Florida Business Journal reported March 31, 2011 they were firing 1,223 workers in Florida. The Augusta Chronicle reports they fired 247 employees after hiring 300 in Georgia.

They cut 209 jobs in Dublin, Ohio in 2009 and another 250 in Akron according to www.employmentspectator.com. It's just one horror story after another with this company. What a great company to plan a future career with. What a great future for our community.