Cingular Center Brings More Than Just New Jobs

Each day, around 20,000 calls are answered at Cingular's new service center in Ocean Springs. An army of more than 700 employees are needed to answer customer questions from around the South.

Cingular's payroll is expected to bring more than $20 million to the area.

"I think we are going to have a long future, and we are going to start off at pretty much full capacity here in the building," Cingular Regional Manager Dorothy Moran said.

Other businesses in the area are also seeing the benefits of Cingular. Hundreds of employees make their way to local restaurants each day for lunch.

"I have to say, the response from Cingular employees has been fantastic for business," restaurant owner Sonya McVeay said. "We are very pleased, very happy."

To better serve its new lunch time crowd, the Cornerstone Deli started an all-you-can-eat seafood buffet.

Business has also increased at the nearby Rite Aid. The pharmacy made sure months ago that it took Cingular's prescription plans.

"I've seen a lot of new traffic flow, new prescriptions," store manager Daniel Martin said. "We take their prescription plan, so its helped our store a lot having them across the street from us."

Those benefits are expected to spread out to all neighboring businesses as Cingular employees learn the area.

By Ken Flanagan

Online Producer Glenn Cummins