San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
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Another US company closes operations in Costa Rica; 550 workers to lose jobs

StarTek, a U.S. provider of business outsourcing services, will close its call center in Costa Rica on Aug. 30, according to MarketWatch, part of The Wall Street Digital Network.

The closure would mean the dismissal of the company’s 550 employees at their America Free Zone facilities in the province of Heredia, who managed customer relations and technical support calls, primarily for U.S. telecom companies.

“The difficult decision to close our Heredia site was made as part of our strategic plan to optimize our capacity and continue building upon the efficient solutions we provide our clients,” said Chad Carlson, StarTek president and CEO. “This decision was not due to performance of our employees in Costa Rica, and we are grateful for their service to StarTek and our clients,” the news outlet quoted Carlson as saying, citing a press release from StarTek headquarters in Denver.

Attempts on Friday by The Tico Times to confirm the announcement with Startek were unsuccessful. A local Startek representatives said company General Manager Paola Herrera will issue an official statement next Tuesday.

“StarTek will be holding job fairs and offering assistance to the employees to find other jobs in Heredia,” the press release from Denver said.

The company’s yearly financial report stated that “during the year ending December 31, 2013, we recognized important losses in our Latin America segment associated with the furniture, fixtures and leasehold improvements at our site in Costa Rica after an impairment analysis indicated estimated future cash flows were insufficient to support the carrying values.”

StarTek launched its Costa Rica operation in 2010. At the time, Vice President Luis Liberman attended the opening of its facilities.

The closing adds to those by Intel’s manufacturing center, Bank of America financial services center, PET Packaging,  and appliance manufacturer and distributor MABE.

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Don Blake

Oh dear 300 new jobs in from P & G and now 550 out….net loss 250…’s a shame. There is something wrong guys, the government needs to make it much more easier and friendlier for foreign companies and foreign business owners to come to Costa Rica. I got a redidency permit within 2 weeks, in most countries I have worked in around the world, in Costa Rica it takes you over a year, sometimes longer. It just doesn’t make you feel welcome, it’s as if you are not wanted here, but yet the country will be crippled if it doesn’t attract foreign investment, as unlike larger more prosperous countries like China etc, Costa Rica cannot support itself, and grow it’s economy internally or be self sustaining……I just don’t think people in government understand or care enough about the critically severe financial and economic situation the country is in!

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Enoch Brenes


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Rising Taxes, difficulty importing, high fuel and power costs, ridiculous entitlements. WHY would any Company stick around to feel the pain when they can return to the USA where States are rolling out the carpets for them. The USA is learning when you over tighten the screws it strips the teeth. Better said – put the screws to hand that feeds you and you starve.

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Luis Diego Campos

Not one of the companies that will be leaving Costa Rica made that decision due to an spacific issue with the govt. Their leaving as per internal reason like economic and prduct infraestructure. Bank Of America will close their overseas outsource centers including Mexico in order to grow a labor force in the USA. Intel desktops and notebook chips have been outnumber by the good sales of the tablet and smart phones making Intel to restablish and to make new products. Startek is going to Honduras and how much money you think they will be saving on payrolls and social security. Nothing that has to do with the govt. Its just that they will go to any place that will save then a few bucks, BOA will spent more money in the USA but customers will get a native speaking agents, but a rule of thumb “youll get what you pay”.

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Karolina Venegas Altamirano

So sad…I used to work at Startek and I am feeling really sad about this news.

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Mark Kahle

I agree with Don. The maze of Ministries, the lack of a cohesive list of requirements for doing almost anything, the time it takes to get simple permits and or permissions and the inability of anyone to actually make a decision based on the facts without going to a “committee”. There is no trust and no customer service.

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