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On the heels of Sony Electronics announcing job cuts of at least 400 employees in the San Diego area, Cox Communications is also drawing back in the region.

Notices were sent to employees this week that Cox is cutting around 500 jobs from its Kearny Mesa location, primarily in the departments that house call services and sales.

“It’s about real estate,” said Dennis Morgigno from Cox Communications media relations. “It’s just not sustainable in certain locations, including San Diego. We have other locations where we can house more people, like in Phoenix and Las Vegas.”

Cox will be closing 12 regional call centers and keeping open 7 that are larger than the ones being shuttered. Employees are encouraged to apply for jobs at the remaining locations and, according to Morgigno, Cox will offer a net moving cost of $15,000 for those who successfully acclimate.

Some cuts will begin in two months; the last will be in September. Affected employees were discouraged from making statements concerning the cuts.

“It’s a really great place to work,” said an employee who will be affected by the cuts. “Even though they are offering a really great incentive to apply to other places, that’s not where I’m able to go at this time. San Diego is my home now.”

“My plan is to ride it out and see what the end brings,” said another employee. “Relocating sounds great but is not an option for me because of custody issues. I will have to find another job, it’s just the thought of not only starting over at the bottom of seniority but being able to find a job paying me as much as Cox did (being there over 10 years, I make a pretty penny for it being a cable company).”

“It’s not personal, it’s just business,” said another, apparently unsure of future plans.

Other employees were more optimistic.

“I’m excited for the chance to see other parts of the world," said a worker hopeful of gaining a transfer. "Cox is a beautiful company and I would love to make this my career and not a job.”

According to Morgigno, Cox will continue to employ 2000 people at the Kearny Mesa facility.

“We have no plans to leave the San Diego area,” Morgigno said. “We have a large part of the market here, and in Orange County and in Santa Barbara. We don’t see that changing anytime in the near future.”

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