GTE California has announced plans to move 520 telephone operator jobs to Long Beach and spend $20 million on its facilities in the city, adding new services for callers seeking directory assistance.
Most of the jobs will be filled by GTE employees from five operator stations that are being shut down in other cities, said Mike Murray, a company spokesman. The closures, which will affect 226 operators at stations in Lakewood and Downey, are scheduled to begin in November and are part of a GTE plan to consolidate the company's directory assistance service, Murray said. The company employs 292 directory assistance operators at its offices at 200 W. Ocean Blvd.
As part of the consolidation project, the company also plans to expand its menu of directory assistance services, Murray said. One new function will allow callers to be connected to the numbers they request without hanging up and dialing. Another feature will enable callers to search directories by category--car dealerships, for example. These services will cost extra, Murray said.