At or near the top of ANY list of underrespected and underappreciated sectors of the Mahoning Valley economy must rank customer-service call-center jobs.

Some may be surprised to learn that more than 4,200 people work at major call center operations in Mahoning and Trumbull counties, including Infocision in Boardman and Austintown, VXI Global Solutions in downtown Youngstown and Alorica (formerly West Corp.) in Niles. That’s at least 1,000 more employees who work today at the sprawling General Motors Lordstown Complex.

But like jobs in the auto, steel and other manufacturing industries, the security of call-center positions here and across the state and nation are threatened by unfair and anti-consumer practices from afar.

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