Franklin Countys First News

Barclaycard in Wilton to close in March

The Barclaycard customer service center at 128 Weld Road in Wilton.



[Editor's Note: This story has been updated with a joint statement from Maine's Congressional Delegation]

WILTON - Employees of the Barclaycard Services Operation Center were informed this afternoon that the facility will be closing in March, impacting 227 people.

Employees were informed Tuesday afternoon that the center will close on March 31. Barclaycard opened at the Wilton location in 2008, leasing space in the former G.H. Bass shoe facility on the Weld Road. Serving as a customer service center for the company's co-branded credit cards - until July 2018, L.L. Bean was one of Barclays' many partners - the local center previously employed up to 500 people. The call center was the beneficiary of a $5 million renovation project that was completed in 2015, improving and adding new work areas and expanding its workforce from 350 to roughly 500.

The decision to close the center was part of a "global location strategy," according to a statement released by Barclays, which focused on the development of larger, regional hubs to allow employees to work more efficiently. U.S. services will be serviced from locations in Ohio, Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware.

"This has been an incredibly difficult decision as we have a great team in Wilton who have done a tremendous job over the years supporting our company, customers and the local community," said Lou Astolfi, Chief Operating Officer of Barclays US Consumer Bank. "We are committed to supporting our colleagues through the transition with the dignity, respect and care they deserve."

Barclays indicated that employees would be offered severance pay, job training funds, laptops and employment support such as job search assistance.

Local officials have immediately begun coordinating a response, beginning with a special Selectboard meeting to be held Wednesday evening at the Wilton Town Office at 6 p.m. A number of local legislators and representatives of Maine's congressional delegation are expected to attend.

Wilton Town Manager Rhonda Irish said Tuesday, via a written statement, that the Board of Selectpersons was "saddened" to hear about the impending closure.

"Barclays is one of the largest employees of Franklin County, so the impact will be felt through the County and the greater region," Irish said. "Barclays has been a great community neighbor and employer for the region during their years in Wilton, with employees providing countless hours of community service to various organizations in Wilton and Franklin County."

Barclays employees and the company itself have involved themselves in local causes in a number of ways over the past decade, ranging from after school programs to charitable fundraising to community improvement projects.

Sen. Russell Black (R - Wilton) was also saddened by the news, promising that local, state and federal officials would do "everything we can" to support the displaced employees and encourage new possible partners to fill the soon-to-be empty space at the 128 Weld Road. The building was leased by Barclays and is owned by the Western Maine Development Group, LLC.

"We've got a little time," Black said, referring to the March 31 date, "but it's a sad day that we lose those jobs in this rural district."

Black said that he had been in contact with the governor's office and that of Sen. Angus King regarding the closure. He intends to attend Wednesday's meeting in Wilton, as do other local legislators.

Governor Janet Mills has directed the Department of Labor to "use all available resources" to support the employees and their families, as well as the Wilton community.

"This is deeply disappointing news that will have a profound impact on the community, the employees and their families," Mills said, in a statement issued Tuesday afternoon. She went on to say that a rapid response team from the DOL would be available to meet with employees and help them evaluate their options.

"Wilton is a beautiful lakeside community, a great place to live and raise a family, and already has a willing and productive work force," Mills added. "I am confident other employers will see this change as an opportunity and will power their businesses with the hard workers of Franklin County."

Maine's congressional delegation, including Sen. Angus King, Sen. Susan Collins and Rep. Jared Golden released a joint statement Tuesday evening.

"Today's announcement is devastating news for the hundreds of hardworking employees at the Barclays facility in Wilton and their families," Senators Collins and King and Congressman Golden said. "Our offices have been in contact with the Town of Wilton, Barclays representatives, and the governor's office. We stand ready to assist in any way we can to ensure that affected workers are provided with the help they need in this time of uncertainty. We will continue our efforts to promote jobs and economic development across the state - particularly in rural areas - so that Maine people can continue to live, work, and succeed in their communities."

Rep. Scott Landry (D - Farmington) doesn't represent Wilton, but said he does represent many people in the Farmington and Industry area that work at Barclaycard, said that the impact could have a ripple effect through the region. In a statement released later, he reiterated those concerns.

"I am deeply concerned for the hundreds of workers impacted by this news, as well as their families and our entire community,” said Landry. “I’m encouraged to see Gov. Janet Mills has directed the Department of Labor to use every resource available to them to support the workers impacted. I will do everything in my power to assist these workers during this difficult time and will continue to work in my role as state representative for a strong, stable economy in Franklin County."

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35 Responses »

  1. This is very sad indeed. After working here for almost 10 years, I will truly miss everyone I have worked with over the years. I am blessed to have worked for a great company, and to build an awesome resume from all the experience I have gained. This will definitely impact our little town and community tremendously.

  2. Democrats take over and the layoffs begin. Elections have consequences.

  3. Maybe a good option for the homeless shelter. The building might as well be put to good use instead of sitting there and rotting .

  4. To the valued members of District 114 and all of those affected by the unfortunate decision made by Barclaycard today, my thoughts are with you and together we will get through this.

    I will work hard to help create and implement a plan to help these workers transition, and to help fill these jobs that were so vital to our communities and to our district. I assure you, I will work for YOU.

    I have already been in contact with the office of Governor Janet Mills and with fellow government officials in the area, this matter will be taken seriously and we will bounce back.

    For any questions or assistance in accessing available benefits during this time please contact the Maine Department of Labor directly. If you have any trouble, please contact my office at (207) 267-1400.

    -Representative Randall Hall, District 114

  5. It has nothing to do with Democrats ....Barclays is a uk company...the building lease is going to be up. this has been in the making way before the election! Everyone knew this was going to happen ever since the contract with llbean ended and they went with Citibank!

  6. The decision had nothing to do with politics or who is in office. This plan was set fourth by Barclays for over a year. Furthermore they will soon announce the closure of the location in Hamilton Ohio and also Delaware. Please pray for the workers that have been affected.

  7. "Elections have consequences". Absolutely. Just look what's happened in the past two years. I wouldn't expect any less from the cult of trump (lower case intentional). Lie and blame. You people give the Democrats way too much credit. Tax breaks, company buy-backs, labor cuts, and companies become bigger capitalist bullies.

  8. In the making, you are so right, has NOTHING to do with the Democrats or the Republicans! We all knew once llbean went to Citibank they would close, lost a BIG account.

  9. With a $ 12 minimum wage coming to Farmington Maine, everyone better get used to layoffs.

  10. Global location strategy? I thought it was a call center. Unless I'm mistaken isn't a call center, where phones are used to talk to customers. (Around the world).

  11. This is sad news for the area, but reminds me of when MBNA opened in Belfast and after a few years, they folded, also..

  12. Barclays has always been a great employer with great benefits. A lot of people figured this would be the result when LLBean went to Citi. This doesn't have anything to do with who occupies the governors office!

  13. Any business in this area especially Wilton with used to employ so many before it became more profitable to make shoes in China will missed.
    I think the country would be a lot better off if democrats in Congress would stop sucking their thumbs , ( the same thumbs they've been sitting on for 2 years) and work with the president to bring jobs back.

  14. I read the comments thinking that it would be supportive folks chiming in about this sad loss for the community. I did not have to read far to find otherwise. FTown Dale, it must be a dark and conspiratorial place in your brain. Maybe next time keep it to yourself. Remember the adage: if you don't have anything nice to say then don't say anything at all. Perhaps embroider it on a pillow.

  15. Just stirring the pot.

    @BillT

    If you mean look at the last two years, do you mean record low unemployment, reduced taxes, a return to economic growth the previous administration said was impossible, real wage growth for the first time in a generation, millions working their way out of governmental dependence, etc. etc.?

    Yes elections have consequences. The consequence of this administration will have positive impacts for generations. Prior to this administration, I had come to accept that in my lifetime socialism would win and I had no chance of retiring. The march toward socialism and mediocrity has been delayed 20 years by this administration. I now have hope, although kids today will probably have to suffer under the weight of socialism in their later years. It's impossible to beat "free", no matter the cost.

  16. Perhaps the town government will stop fixating on a dead downtown and focus on something meaningful now....

  17. That's too bad but not surprising. My thoughts go out to the folks who will be laid off and looking for work. It seems like all the big business call centers that pop up around here just open for a year or two then move elsewhere. Big companies moving in can offer large hiring pools but not the same reliability that locals who invest and have values to build our local economy.

    FT Dale@ If you are just here to play politics then here you go.
    "In the same week your hero lepage visited Wilton to take credit for the opening of Barclays the larger call enter nest door closed which downsized the number of employed in the area. We can play citizen journalism (trying to relate unrelated things) and politics all day but in the end you present the biggest problem our country is facing today, intentional division from within and out. Who benefits from that?

    Here's a link to refresh you memory.

    "A week after Barclaycard call center in Wilton announced it would be hiring 200 people, neighboring call center Sykes Enterprises announced it will be laying off employees at its Wilton operation." -- https://www.centralmaine.com/2013/09/04/wilton-call-center-announces-closing-a-week-after-local-competitor-announced-expansion/

    How about we pull it together and offer empathy and solutions to those who are about to lose their income and are worried about survival. My thoughts are with you in this time of transition. Refresh the resume a get out there. If you do I have no doubt that something better will open up for you!

  18. Not to worry folks that are being laid off. There are multiple jobs out there even if it’s not at a cubicle answering the phone. Many businesses are hiring around Franklin county and close by in Somerset and Androscoggin. Verso has been trying to fill jobs as they are short handed. Poland Spring was hiring probably still are Stratton lumber. Jobs are everywhere.

  19. At least this happened after LePage and Trump created a red hot jobs market. It will help local employers that desperately need to fill job vacancies.

  20. They knew janet took over and nancy pelosi in congress.they are gonna get while gettings good.

  21. @samo,

    not sure what your response to me has to do with the price of tea in China. Please do tell how you have determined that I'm a LePage fanboy, and what the heck point are you trying to make?

    If your point is that republican administrations grow economy and jobs because the jobs were created on LePages watch; and democratic administrations blow the economy and jobs because the jobs are being destroyed in Mills' term, then I agree. However, from your tone, it would seem that you are trying to say something different.

  22. Very sad news for sure, this closure will affect many local families.

    MD, please explain further, because as I see it the downtown has made a lot of progress in the past few years...

    Meanwhile I will continue to proudly support our downtown businesses;
    Calzoliao Pasta Company - italian restaurant
    Family Freeze - Ice Cream Shop
    Collins Cakes and Bakes - Farm Store/bakery
    Ambition Brewing - Brewery and Tasting Room
    Key Bank
    New Great Wall - Chinese Restaurant
    Franklin County Hypnosis
    Village Hair Solon
    Brookside Gym
    Wilton Hardware
    Peace Moving Forward
    Expenet Technologies
    Wilton Public Library
    Ron Aseltine Esq - Lawyer office
    Beauty Mark - Hair Solon
    Life’s Perks Coffee
    Food City
    Beyond Shoe Repair
    Firehouse Daycare
    Western Maine Play Museum
    Franklin Savings Bank
    Not to mention all the offices in the completely full Bass-Wilton building (sorry I couldn’t name them all)

    Maybe it’s been awhile since you’ve taken a stroll downtown, but I will never understand why someone would post such negativity towards our local small businesses.

  23. NO!!!!! your making a huge mistake closing.

  24. Someone always has to go political. A business can't just find it lucrative to consolidate to larger centers? It had to be about politics? Why?

    I hope we're able to rally around these folks instead of pointing fingers.

  25. Jeff,

    Notice that MD failed to mention what the "something meaningful" actually is.....
    Just a negative ninny nanny, mad about something.
    Simply part of the problem.

    Thank you Jeff for being part of the solution.
    I love in Farmington and I'm rooting for you over there.
    We love our Expenet...btw

    Ya know.. it's your value system that controls how you view things... Like giving a damn about the downtown area of a small town in Maine.. and doing something about it if you can.
    Maybe you can't open a business but at least you could consider buying local once in a while.
    If you're against that...well ya got issues.
    The ones that talk like DM in my town,, haven't been there in years. Clueless griping.
    I know one thing... It's a happier place without them around..

    Jeff,, thanks again for setting up.
    We know it's worth it.

  26. To *awwww* you act as tho the people that worked there just sat on their butts and answered a phone. gossiped or something. If you have never done this job id recommend trying it sometime. It's not as easy as you act like it is. . You are literally everyone's punching bag all day long. While still smiling and "taking the abuse". It is as hard as any mill job. Maybe not totally physical, but mentally... surely you would not be able to do it. Just saying. Why all politics. Can't folks just show some compassion for these moms dads husbands wives "families". That's what community is suppose to be about.

  27. Dragonfly when did I say it was easy ? Your putting words i n my mouth. Stop. I was simply pointing out instead of complaining and going to wait on some sort of program to find a job start now and get a new job they are everywhere you look. I know people that have worked in that line of work some are my family members and I have heard what they go through. So instead of trying to cause more problems on here go do something about it instead. You don’t have to go down with the ship your not the Captain. Even McDonalds is hiring.

  28. And by the way there’s only 3 w in Awww just saying.

  29. I think it is important to keep in mind hundreds of people are losing their jobs. This is not a political thing, it is just something that happens It is shocking to see the amount of hate being spewed about the company and the people that work there. Recently a resident of wilton expressed their hate and discontent for the building and the people. "The people losing their jobs will only bring the community down." That mentality is not what the community needs nor desires. If you can't keep it positive and supportive maybe keep it to yourself.

  30. We’ve been here before,folks, and we’ll be here again. The sun will come up tomorrow and these folks will find new, and possibly better, jobs. It amazes me sometimes how short some memory spans are. Look forward and smile once in a while. It helps!

  31. Bring Back bass Shoe! Maybe if we had Trump 20 years ago wouldn't have let them leave!

  32. Some people are saying because of LLBean leaving, how do you know it wasn't Barclays that let them go? Maybe they are the ones that killed they deal by bad negotiations, and Bean's got a better deal?

  33. ***awww I guess I will say i'm sorry for hearing "Sitting in a cubical answering a phone." as we don't actual work we just sit in a cubical and gab on the phone. Cushion job. To go get a real job like the mill. Maybe I was the only one who read it like that. My apologies.

  34. @waite read my comments again and stop putting words in my mouth. If that how you interpret it than I feels bad for you being so sensitive. I never said anything about it being easy.

  35. Stop making this about politics ! This is not the Democrats fault, for that matter it's not the Republicans fault! I work for Barclays and this call center was here because of the partnership with LL Bean, when the contract ended, LLB went with another bank, chose Citi bank and not in the state of ME....Our center is smaller than the others, and to them, in the middle of nowhere, they have to fly in to either Portland or Bangor, then drive a couple of hours.....so don't play the blame game, especially when you make everything political, we are losing our jobs, thisis a hard time for the workers here, cut the rumors...our job was not an easy job, it could be quite stressful at times, for the comments thinking we didn't work hard, apply at a call center please, try it for yourself....and don't tell people McDonalds is hiring, we left high school and college years ago....instead of being mean, try a little empathy, we need jobs, we have family's and bills like everyone else...

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