DECATUR — Convey Health Solutions Inc. will permanently close its Decatur call center in September and lay off about 150 employees, according to documentation obtained by the Herald & Review. 

In a letter to Decatur city leaders, Convey said about 135 employees in customer-service type positions and 15 employees in management/supervisory roles would be affected. Their positions would end on Sept. 28 or within two weeks after that, the letter said. 

Employers are required by the federal WARN Act to notify workers and communities 60 days in advance about large-scale layoffs and plant closings. 

Convey representatives did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday afternoon. The letter did not cite a reason for the closure. 

The call center opened in October 2015 in the Fairview Park Plaza at 1505 W. King St. At the time, company leadership said about 300 employees were expected to begin working there, and as many as 500 people could be hired eventually. 

The Florida-based company helps insurance companies with tasks such as providing information about Medicare plans, helping with insurance enrollment and conducting surveys, its executive vice president said in 2015. 

Convey opening - File Photo

In this October 2015 file photo, Convey Health Solutions senior vice presidents Stephanie Jones and Scott Tracey lead a tour through the Decatur call center with Mayor Julie Moore Wolfe and Greater Decatur Chamber of Commerce President Mirinda Rothrock. 

Convey has notified all of the affected employees about the closure and informed them when their termination dates will be effective, the document said. 

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Decatur Mayor Julie Moore Wolfe said that while the closure announcement is unfortunate, the city has several training resources and new employment opportunities that the laid off employees can take advantage of. 

Statistics released by the state on July 26 show that the Decatur metropolitan area's unemployment rate grew by two-tenths of a percentage point in June compared to last year, but the area has gained 900 non-farm jobs over the calendar year. 

"Companies are fighting for workers, and they've been pretty successful in getting them," Moore Wolfe said. "... I think we're in a good position."

The space occupied by Convey had been empty since 2012, when customer service company StarTek closed its call center. When they announced the opening of the Decatur site in August 2015, Convey officials said the city won out over sites they considered in Georgia, Texas, Arkansas and Utah.

Convey had been hiring Decatur employees as recently as March, when it participated in a job fair at Eisenhower High School

The company on Tuesday also announced the opening of a new distribution facility in Lenexa, Kansas. In a statement, Convey said the new facility would create more than 40 jobs and would help with its rapidly growing business in over-the-counter medication and supplies. 

Decatur-area business openings and closings

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Contact Jaylyn Cook at (217) 421-7980. Follow him on Twitter: @jaylyn_HR


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