Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Plan To Bring 900 Jobs To Nashville Called Off

Electronic Express

Plan To Bring 900 Jobs To Nashville Called Off

Story posted 2011.07.19 at 12:03 PM CDT

NewsChannel5 Wireless News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A deal to bring 900 jobs to Nashville has been called off after concerns that the company closed several offices in Canada and laid off workers.

On Tuesday, Matt Wilshire, director of the Mayor's Office of Economic and Community Development issued a statement saying that the city is "no longer in conversations with IQT (Solutions) regarding locating their operations here."

The statement said that they spoke with the company, which is based in Canada, on Monday evening and said it is unlikely that they will move forward with their proposed operation in Nashville.

It went on to say: 

"We are disappointed these job opportunities won't be available to Nashvillians, but it is important to point out that no incentive dollars were expended. We are dismayed about what happened in Canada and don't think workers anywhere should be treated that way."

On Friday, IQT Solutions announced they were closing three call centers in Canada.

Other reports revealed that the company had not informed its workers in advance, and some workers said they had not gotten paid.

In June, the company had revealed major plans to move their corporate offices to Nashville and also build a customer support center. To encourage them to make the move, and bring hundreds of jobs with them, Metro even offered them a city grant worth $1.6 million .

In a statement issued Monday, Mayor Karl Dean said "We were surprised and concerned to hear about the developments in Canada, and I was dismayed by the way the company treated its employees there. Rest assured, Metro taxpayers are protected. Metro's agreements with IQT have not been finalized, and no incentive funds have been paid to the company. Consistent with my philosophy on economic development, the incentives offered to IQT are based on the company's ability to bring jobs to Nashville. If they don't create jobs here, they don't get incentives. We are not moving forward on this deal unless we get answers from IQT that satisfy my concerns."

NewsChannel 5 also got a copy of a letter that Mayor Dean's director of Economic and Community Development, Matthew A. Wiltshire, sent to IQT Chief Executive Officer Alex Morton.

He wrote: "we are deeply concerned about the announcement on Friday that IQT Incorporated had closed three operation centers in Canada. We prefer to be notified about this sort of substantive development prior to reading about it in the press. While we remain interested in attracting jobs to Tennessee, we will need a much clearer understand of IQT's plans and the commitment  of your clients before we move forward with our discussions."

IQT is a Canadian based company that does technical support for a number of major companies, for devices like cell phones.

Past Stories: July 15: Reports: IQT Solutions Laying Off, Not Paying Workers June 9: 900 New Jobs Coming To Downtown Nashville

Story posted 2011.07.19 at 12:03 PM CDT

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Thank You,

Kenyatta Lovett

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