Dell lays off 250 in Nashville

Tuesday, October 9, 2007 at 3:57pm

Nashville’s Dell Inc. call center has laid off 250 technical support workers, a company spokesman confirmed Tuesday.

Part of a company-wide restructuring, the local 250 employees were notified yesterday evening and early this morning. The layoffs took effect immediately, and eliminated 6 percent of Dell’s 4,000-employee Middle Tennessee workforce.

“It’s not necessarily a performance issue or a tenure issue,” said Ken Bissell, a Nashville-based spokesman for the company. “In the grand scheme of things, it’s a small number.”

Dell – the nation’s second largest manufacturer of computers – announced in May that 10 percent of the company’s global workforce would be eliminated over the course of the following 12 months.

Dismissed employees were given severance packages including financial benefits for an unspecified amount of time, as well as job placement and counseling services.

Bissell said he could not specify the average salary or education level of the laid off workers, but he could say that some had been with the company since the opening of the Nashville facility in 1999. Some of the employees had undergraduate and advanced degrees, though it was also possible to work in technical support if enough certifications and experience had been accumulated.

Citing competitive reasons, Bissell declined to say how many technical support employees remain in Dell’s Middle Tennessee facilities. The restructuring has not affected other operations that take place here, including similar positions falling under the IT classification, Bissell said.

But Dell’s company-wide workforce reductions will continue to take place throughout the next six to eight months, and Bissell said he could not say whether more changes could be in store locally.

“I’m afraid to speculate,” Bissell said.

For more information, see tomorrow’s The City Paper.

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