Verizon to Build New Call Center in Lincoln, Nebraska

Ground broken this week for beginning of $18M office building


"I guarantee there's no city in the country that would turn away this kind of project," Berger said. "We are not talking minimum wage jobs here."

And, yes, he's aware of the kind of winter weather to expect during the construction period: In determining what construction materials to use, he looked up the history of temperatures from Dec. 1 to March 1 several years ago.

He also has personal experience:"I have had entire car water lines freeze up somewhere near North Platte," he said.

Reach Deena Winter at 473-2642 or .

ABOUT VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS

On the Web:

Headquarters: New York

Stock: Verizon(VZ),traded on New York Stock Exchange. One of 30 stocks in Dow Jones Industrial Average. Merged with MCI Inc. on Jan. 6.

The company: Verizon Communications delivers broadband, wireless and wireline communications to residential, business, government and wholesale customers.

It operates three divisions:

VERIZON WIRELESS

Customers: Nearly 57 million nationwide

States:49, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico

VERIZON BUSINESS

Operates wholly owned global IP network

Countries:More than 140

Employees: More than 30,000

VERIZON TELECOM

Telephone and broadband service networks

U.S. telephone access lines: 46 million

Wireline broadband connections: 6.6 million

Source:

VERIZON HISTORY

Verizon Communications Inc., based in New York and incorporated in Delaware, was formed on June 30, 2000, with the merger of Bell Atlantic Corp. and GTE Corp, two of the biggest telecommunications companies in the world.

The name came from combining veritas, the Latin word for certainty and reliability, and horizon, signifying forward-looking and visionary.

Verizon's predecessors have operated in parts of Nebraska since the 1980s, according to news archives.

The wireless company upgraded its network and service from Omaha to Lincoln and Fremont earlier this year. It has a store at Westfield Gateway shopping center.

LINCOLN'S LARGEST EMPLOYERS

Lincoln's largest employers are all government agencies. The following totals were provided earlier this year by the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development. They include full- and part-time employees.

5,000-9,999 employees

1. University of Nebraska-Lincoln2. State of Nebraska3. Lincoln Public Schools

2,500-4,999 employees

4. BryanLGH Medical Center5. BNSF Railway Co.

1,000-2,499 employees

6. City of Lincoln7. U.S. government8. State Farm Insurance9. Duncan Aviation10. Lancaster County11. Saint Elizabeth Health Systems12. Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital13. Ameritas Life Insurance Co.14. B&R Stores Inc.15. Kawasaki Motors Mfg. Corp. USA16. Hy-Vee Food Stores Inc.

500-999 employees

24 employers

WHAT IS TIF?

Tax increment financing, or TIF, is an urban investment tool usually used in economically depressed areas.

Here's how it works: The increased property tax revenue generated by the development is used to make payments on a TIF bond. The money can be used to help make the project happen, from buying buildings to offering land to providing water and sewer service or just sprucing up the surrounding area.

Once the bonds are paid off, usually in about 15 years, the taxes begin flowing into the customary coffers of the city, county and school district.

In this case, the city has suggested it could help acquire the property; relocate gas, water and electric lines; build a storm sewer; extend streets; and do landscaping.