April 2008 GWB Technology Column

Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless’ Wilmington call center is expanding and will hire 150 new full-time customer service professionals as part of its plan to expand its operation and support increased demand for its wireless products and services.  The company plans to hire approximately twenty-five new employees per month through November 2008.  Verizon Wireless currently employees more than 1200 people in the Wilmington area in their customer service, information technology, training and financial services departments; it also has two full-time employees and two interns in the fitness center.

“Our customer service team helps us deliver on our commitment to provide an exceptional experience for our existing customers and the new ones we plan to add this year nationwide,” said Human Resources Manager Rob Clayton. “We have been very pleased with the talent pool in Wilmington.”

Clayton also commented that he started eleven years ago as a customer service representative and has since advanced to his current position in management.

The Wilmington call center is one of twenty-six national call centers and shares calls with its partner call center in Charleston, SC.  Verizon Wireless customer service representatives answer billing and technical questions, troubleshoot issues, conduct price plan changes and provide general customer support.  Job requirements include one year of customer service experience and strong computer, communication, and problem-solving skills.  A college degree is also highly desirable.

Verizon Wireless consistently ranks as one of the best places to work in the United States.  For seven consecutive years, the company has been named to Working Mother Magazine’s “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers” list.

Flow Sciences
Flow Sciences, a Wilmington-based manufacturer and designer of safety containment solutions for research and development laboratories, pilot facilities, automation equipment, robotics, manufacturing and production plants, has released new products to protect technicians and scientists from toxic compounds.  Through a partnership of with ILC Dover and EHS Solutions, Flow Sciences has developed the HEPA-filtered Chemical Transfer Station.  The workstation features an ILC Dover gloved flexible enclosure, EHS Solutions drum lift technologies, and an FSI enclosure for improved powder containment.  The integrated workstation was verified by third party testing and found to contain compounds during handling to less than 1.0 µg/m3.  This maximized containment minimizes loss of product and ensures operator safety.

Additionally, Flow Sciences has released new information regarding the containment of potentially toxic nanomaterials.  According to Flow Science, engineered nanomaterials are diverse in their physical, chemical, and biological nature and have vastly very different toxicologies. Flow Sciences products satisfy The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommendations for containing nanomaterials.

Business Alliance for a Sound Economy
Business Alliance for a Sound Economy (BASE) recently launched its new website, ncbase.org. The new site will provide up-to-date information on proposed regulatory and public policy changes and local, state and federal legislation.  The purpose of this web site is to keep area industry members informed, allowing them to act preemptively on changes and legislation that may adversely affect the industry.  The site includes news, event calendars, and polls, and it is based on the Joomla opensource web application framework.

According to Donna Griardot, CEO of BASE, the site was designed to better communicate with both their members and the public and to help build strength through their large number of members.  Girardot also named water as the biggest issue for her organization.  “We can’t build, can’t grow and can’t develop without water.  Look at Raleigh, we are at the end of the straw here”

BASE is a coalition of associations with the mission to promote public policies encouraging regional economic growth, job creation, healthy real estate, homebuilding, land use and development.  It has been active since 2003 and currently employs three registered lobbyists.  BASE represents numerous independent commercial and residential real estate, building, development, banking, engineering, architectural and environmental businesses.  It also represents members of the Brunswick County Home Builders Association, the Brunswick County Landowners Association, the Topsail Island Association of REALTORS® and the Wilmington-Cape Fear Home Builders Association.