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Captions company lays off nearly 350 in state, more than 100 in Tampa

CapTel Service Specialists say the job cuts are due to a new technology.

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A company that provides captioning services for the deaf is laying off 347 employees in Florida, 104 of them in Tampa.

CapTel Service Specialist, in two letters to the state, blames the job cuts on a new technology that gives customers a choice of getting “captions through a fully automated” system.

The layoffs are expected to begin Sept. 20, with 243 people losing their jobs in Orlando and 104 in Tampa, according to the letters. The letters were sent to meet federally mandated Worker Adjustment Retraining and Notification Act requirements.

CapTel also has an office in Arlington, Texas, though no layoff notice for the company was posted on that state’s WARN website as of July 21.

CapTel is part of Ultratec, a Wisconsin company that looks to make “telephone communication more convenient for people with hearing loss, eliminating barriers to the phone through technology,” according to its website. A company timeline on the site says CapTel opened in Orlando in 2012 and then expanded to Tampa in 2016.

What the letters do not say is how many, if any, employees will remain in Tampa or Orlando. Jayne Turner, the Ultratec vice president who signed the letters, did not respond to an email seeking comment.


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