Comcast says it will hire 250 for Silver Spring headquarters

Cable TV

January 15, 2000|By Mark Ribbing | Mark Ribbing,SUN STAFF

Comcast Corp., the area's dominant cable television company, said yesterday that it will hire 250 people -- maybe more -- as part of its plan to move into a new regional headquarters in Silver Spring.

The hiring will consist mainly of customer-service positions. The offices will include a national call center for Comcast's high-speed Internet service.

They will also house the headquarters for Comcast's operations in the Washington metropolitan area and Northern Virginia. The Philadelphia-based company has been aggressively buying up cable properties throughout the mid-Atlantic region, and several of its newest properties would fall within the Silver Spring center's jurisdiction, which contains 350,000 subscribers.

Jaye S. Gamble, regional vice president, said the 250 positions would be filled in the next 12 months, and that more hiring was likely to come thereafter.

"If things continue to go as they have, there will be 600 people in this facility," Gamble said.

Gamble said no jobs were being transferred from Comcast's White Marsh center, which serves as headquarters for the company's suburban Baltimore, eastern Maryland and Delaware operations.

The Silver Spring center is at 1180 Tech Road, site of a former Citibank office. A small production studio, cafeteria and fitness center are to be added this spring.

"Certainly, we're delighted that an organization of this magnitude has come to the county," said Henry Bernstein, assistant director of the Montgomery County Department of Economic Development. "We hope they like what they find here and continue to expand."

Bernstein said Montgomery County was hoping to build up U.S. 29 as an eastern counterpart to the better-known Interstate 270 high-tech lane that runs across the western side of the county.

"It's a very significant employment corridor for the county, and we do devote a lot of time -- as we do on the 270 corridor -- trying to get companies to locate there," he said.

Comcast has applied to take over Montgomery County's cable franchise, now served by Prime Communications LLC. Gamble said the county would decide on the application within three months.

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