The CenturyLink headquarters in Monroe.
What qualities must a business have in order to grow from one single family business to an international company with more than 47,000 employees? Drive. Work ethic. Willingness to change with the times. Leadership. These are a few of the qualities that CenturyLink has exhibited in the past 85 years.
CenturyLink can trace its origin back to 1930 as a family-owned telephone company in Oak Ridge, La., serving about 75 customers in a small farming community. The company unofficially established its corporate headquarters in Monroe in 1968 when its founder moved his office to the city.
Today, CenturyLink is the third largest telecommunications company in the United States and is recognized as a leader in the network services market by technology industry analyst firms. The company is a global leader in cloud infrastructure and hosted IT solutions for enterprise customers. CenturyLink provides data, voice and managed services in local, national and select international markets through its high-quality advanced fiber optic network and multiple data centers for businesses and consumers. The company also offers advanced entertainment services under the CenturyLink®, PrismTM TV, and DIRECTV brands. CenturyLink is an S&P 500 company and is included among the Fortune 500 list of America’s largest corporations.
When asked why CenturyLink has maintained its corporate headquarters in Monroe, Annmarie Sartor replied, “CenturyLink has remained in Monroe because our workforce and our business benefit from quality universities and community colleges; easy access to the I-20 corridor; quality healthcare facilities; an airport with service to major hubs; and an array of cultural, sporting and outdoor opportunities that contribute to an excellent quality of life.” She went on to say that the Monroe area offers minimal commute times with no traffic jams, a wide variety of housing options - size, price range, large yard or none at all, high-quality medical centers and healthcare facilities, great shopping and dining, superb recreation such as fishing, hunting, water sports, car racing and the best high school and college sports anywhere, as well as quality arts and entertainment options.
Two years ago, on January 17, 2013, CenturyLink issued a press release announcing they had selected Yates Construction as the construction management company to build the CenturyLink Technology Center of Excellence on the north side of CenturyLink’s existing headquarters. The center would include technology research and development labs, a network operations center, and office and meeting space. The 300,000 square foot center would accommodate around 800 employees, where employees and vendors with IT skills would work together to create products and services for CenturyLink customers. The planned completion date was March 2015.
Today, we are seeing that announcement come to fruition, as March is just around the corner. Currently, the corporate office employs more than 2,000 people and continues to have a positive impact on our local economy. “With the addition of the CenturyLink Technology Center of Excellence, we are adding about 800 more jobs locally and some of our key vendors have located employees in Monroe to work with us,” said Sartor.
We are excited and expecting the CenturyLink Technology Center of Excellence to spur innovation, idea generation and problem solving that will benefit all of us, too. CenturyLink is taking care of business and investing in its local community, our community. Monroe is proud to be the home of such a great company!
By Wendy Poe