ACT to reduce Iowa City workforce by 155 through outsourcing customer service

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - The company best known for its ACT test college entrance exams will be reducing its employee base by transitioning its customer service work to an outside company, the company announced on Tuesday.

ACT, Inc., a non-profit organization headquartered in Iowa City, will eliminate 115 full-time and 40 temporary positions from its Customer Care department in Iowa City.

The work currently done by those employees will be taken over by STARTEK, a company that handles call center-based services for companies and organizations. It has several U.S.-based offices as well as locations overseas.

The initial transition from ACT to STARTEK will start on August 1, with services fully transferred by November 2019. ACT said they will offer job-seeking support to those whose positions are affected, and that those who do not get placed in other jobs within the company will receive unspecified severance packages.

"With STARTEK’s best-in-class technology, its large pool of agents who can provide 24-hour service and respond to peak demands, and its ability to meet the diverse language needs of ACT’s customers domestically and abroad, it will be able to provide a level of service that is no longer possible for a non-specialized company," Ed Colby, ACT public relations, said, in a statement.

ACT was founded in 1959 by University of Iowa professor Everett Franklin Lindquist and registrar Ted McCarrel.