Nearly 100 employees will seek work elsewhere as Sykes is scheduled to close its call center October 31. The notice was published on SC Works. Sykes is located at 58 Commerce Dr. near Highway 52, north of Kingstree. The company opened its doors in 2008.

The announcement couldn’t come at a worst time for County Supervisor Tiffany Wright but she did offer some positive news. “The decision came as a surprise. We, meaning our economic development executive director and the department of commerce are working on a transportation solution,” said Wright.  “Those employed in our county that wish to continue working at the Sumter location can get transport to and from work by county transit.”

Sykes’ spokesperson, Hayley Westwood said they are grateful for their previous partnerships. “Sykes is always evaluating the marketplace to ensure the best possible outcome for our clients, their customers and our employees,” she said. “To meet the changing needs of today’s environment, a business decision was made to close the Kingstree site.”

Westwood said they have shared the news with employees and are providing opportunities for employees to apply at the site in nearby Sumter. “We’ve also encouraged employees to apply with our work-from-home provider, SYKESHome. We hope many employees can take advantage of these opportunities.”

According to its website, the company’s founder John Sykes made the decision to source talent and create centers of operation in smaller towns across the country rather than established business hubs. Many of the centers are located in communities of less than 5,000 people.

In 2017, the Kingstree location received the Palmetto Shining Star Safety Award from the South Carolina Division of Labor. Sykes has shuttered several centers to include locations in Oregon, Idaho, New York, and Virginia.