Giving a boost to a downtown staggering from recent defections, Bell Atlantic Corp. announced today that it will bring 600 new, mostly high-technology jobs to its Pratt Street state headquarters.
Dave Pacholczyk, a spokesman for the Philadelphia-based regional phone company, said that about 560 jobs were coming here because of a decision to consolidate Bell Atlantic's network engineering department in Baltimore. The 40 additional employees will work with small-business customers.
The consolidation is due to begin in the third quarter of this year and take a year to complete.
Most of the jobs will be transfers from out-of-state engineering centers, said Frederick D'Alessio, president of Bell Atlantic-Maryland, the local subsidiary, formerly known as the Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Co. of Maryland.
The consolidated department, which will serve Bell Atlantic's entire six-state region and the District of Columbia, employs mostly well-paid professionals with advanced degrees in engineering and high technology, Mr. D'Alessio said.
Bell Atlantic's move comes just eight days after USF&G Corp., the giant Baltimore-based insurance company, said it would leave its 35-story downtown office tower and consolidate its operations at its Mount Washington campus.
Among the reasons Mr. D'Alessio cited for the company's choice of Baltimore were its central location in the Bell Atlantic region, its convenient transportation links and the availability of space in its current building at 1 E. Pratt St.