Yahoo's added workers in La Vista part of its effort to return outsourced jobs to U.S.

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Posted: Thursday, June 27, 2013 12:00 am

Yahoo’s jobs announcement Thursday in La Vista was part of the Internet giant’s efforts to bring previously outsourced customer service jobs back to the United States.

Of the 100 new jobs at the Yahoo data center in Sarpy County, about 75 will be customer service jobs. The remaining 25 will be in the company’s factory where servers are assembled and shipped to other locations, working in areas like logistics.

The Sarpy data center, which opened in 2010, is one of three places nationally where Yahoo customer service centers are being moved to the same location as its data centers. The others are in Lockport, N.Y., and Quincy, Wash.

Previously, about 80 percent of Yahoo customer service jobs were taken care of by a third-party contractor outside the country, said Vikram Subramaniam, vice president of customer experience. By the end of this year, he said, 100 percent of the company’s customer service workers will be in the United States.

“We know our customers want to talk to people in the U.S.,” he said.

About 80 people attended the announcement that included a roomful of balloons and cupcakes in Yahoo’s colors of white and purple and a wine and beer bar. Attendees ranged from Yahoo employees to La Vista dignitaries and Gov. Dave Heineman.

Heineman said he remembers talking to the company years ago about bringing it here and growing. The expansion today illustrates “we got that job done,” he said.

“We are grateful and appreciative to the Yahoo leadership team and anyone who’s responsible for this,” he said.

The company also has plans to centralize its customer service operations in Nebraska by moving the approximately 25 employees from a west Omaha office to its La Vista location at 108th Street and Giles Road in the next month, said a Yahoo spokeswoman.

Kathy Savitt, chief marketing officer for the Internet giant, said the company is focused on building a “world-class customer care team,” and that can happen with Nebraska’s help.

“Over the past three years, we’ve been impressed with the high quality workforce in Nebraska,” she said, “and we look forward to adding more Nebraskans to our Yahoo team to help make the daily habits of our hundreds of millions of users more inspiring and entertaining.”

The company currently employs about 350 people in Nebraska.

The Sarpy County data center has been a $300 million investment since ground was broken for it, according to Yahoo.

Subramaniam said there’s a reason that Nebraska was selected as a place to expand what Yahoo calls “customer experience” operations.

“We’re coming to Omaha to get the talent,” he said, noting that employees here have empathy for customers. He said they can view customer service positions as a “gateway to other Yahoo jobs.”

The Yahoo spokeswoman declined to disclose details on the salary ranges of the new jobs.

Yahoo is encouraging interested job applicants to look at employment opportunities at the career site us.careers.yahoo.com.

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