Coke's Largest Bottler To Employ 300 In Tulsa

Friday, March 23rd 2007, 8:29 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Responding to increasing call volume, The Coca-Cola Co.'s largest bottler will build a new customer service center in Tulsa and bring 300 jobs to the area over the next two years.

The Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. center will handle e-mail and phone inquiries, including orders from restaurants and retailers, service calls for vending machines, and consumer concerns from across North America.

It is scheduled to open by August at the former Eastland Mall, which is being redeveloped and will also house an early childhood education center.

``We were looking for a location that would serve our needs as far as job opportunities, development and community contributions, and Tulsa fit that picture,'' said David Sords of Coca-Cola Enterprises' Southwest business unit.

Coca-Cola Enterprises, which already operates customer service centers in Tampa, Fla., and Annapolis, Md., chose Tulsa after receiving assistance from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, the city of Tulsa and the Tulsa Metro Chamber, Sords said.

``They did everything they could to meet our needs,'' Sords said.

A state Commerce Department spokesman said the company is applying for incentives under the Oklahoma Quality Jobs Program, which provides qualifying employers with quarterly cash payments of up to 5 percent of new taxable payroll for up to 10 years.

``We welcome Coca-Cola Enterprises to the Tulsa area,'' Gov. Brad Henry said in a release. ``This new facility will help diversify the local economy, bring new jobs and boost the local tax rolls. It stands to be a fruitful relationship for all of Oklahoma.''

Renovation for the center has already begun in a 61,850-square-foot space once occupied by J.C. Penney Co.

``This is a great announcement that will enhance the revitalization of east Tulsa and bring quality jobs to the area,'' Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor said in a release. ``Coca-Cola is a household name with a long history of excellence. This is another example of the new kind of energy we are seeing every day in Tulsa.''

Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Enterprises is the world's largest marketer, producer and distributor of Coca-Cola products.