Vivint closure in Liberty Lake 'highly unusual'

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by JENICA VILLAMOR & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on June 18, 2014 at 9:15 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 18 at 9:45 AM

LIBERTY LAKE, Wash. -- After only a year in business, Vivint’s Liberty Lake call center is closing next week, leaving many people out of work. KREM 2 On Your Side looked into why a venture that created so much excitement initially could end so abruptly.

Provo, Utah-based Vivint is the largest home security and automation services company in the country and was expected to provide around 400 local jobs.

MORE: Vivint managers looking to hire 400 in Liberty Lake

It was not immediately clear why the Liberty Lake office was shutting down. The company would only say the closure was due to a reallocation of resources. The employees working there are eligible to receive severance and they were encouraged to apply for other positions within Vivint.

Greater Spokane Incorporated recruited the company and helped them get a $150,000 grant to come to the area. Spokespeople with GSI said it is highly unusual for a business to come and go so quickly.

GSI aims to bring businesses to Spokane County to create jobs. Staff even work closely with economists to make sure the area has the skilled workers to support the businesses.

GSI Marketing manager Kevin Dudley said other business recruitment in the past five years resulted in more than $900 million in annual economic impact. In that time, at least four businesses had moved or expanded in Spokane County, including a Caterpillar redistribution center.

The equipment company employs about 170 people. Though it cost GSI between $100,000 and $150,000 to bring the company to town, it is expected to generate $7 million each year.

In 2012, Pepsi relocated its distribution center to Spokane Valley and planned for 128 jobs. GSI only paid out $50,000 for that investment.

Earlier this year, Exotic Metals expanded to Airway Heights and planned to hire 150 people once construction on the facility is completed.
           
But of all the companies, Vivint was expected to hire the most people by providing 400 jobs.  Though staff at GSI said losing Vivint was a big disappointment, they also said the economic impacts of the surviving businesses over the years far outweigh the investment costs GSI puts forth.

Dudley told KREM 2 they were continuing to work with Vivint to determine why the company decided to leave the area.

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