Charlotte call center to close, lay off 239

APAC Customer Services is closing its call center operation in Charlotte, laying off 239 employees, according to documents filed with the state Commerce Department.

The company disclosed the decision in a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification, or WARN notice, filed with the state last month. Companies planning mass layoffs and plant closures are required to file the notices.

The Bannockburn, Ill.-based outsourcing company said it will close its operation at 6324 Fairview Road on May 9. APAC occupies the fourth floor of the building, which is across Fairview from South Park Mall.

APAC said 15 full-time employees and 224 temporary workers will lose their jobs. Reached Tuesday, company officials did not immediately provide comment. In paperwork filed with the state, the company said employees were given a 60-day notice.

The move comes after the company just last year announced plans to hire hundreds in Charlotte, where it provides customer service functions and handles sales calls for the health insurance industry.

In a July press release, the company said it was adding more than 200 jobs in Charlotte to support an unnamed health benefits company. In October, it announced plans to add 65 jobs to serve an unnamed “major health care client.”

In the WARN notice, the company said it is “ramping down” its health care operation at Fairview Road. No reason was provided.

As of Tuesday afternoon, APAC employees were still working in the building. Employees declined to give interviews to a reporter.

Last year, in a separate announcement, APAC said it was eliminating 116 Charlotte positions. The company said the layoffs stemmed from a “technology project” that was ending “due to business needs,” according to documents filed with the state.

Nationwide, telephone call center employment has been on the rise, posting annual gains for the past three years, according to federal data. Last year, the sector employed 477,700, up 5.4 percent from the year before.

In Mecklenburg County, telephone call center employment is also rising. In 2012, the latest year for which there is federal data, employment totaled 1,835, up from 13 percent from the year before.