Greenwood Village call center operator StarTek Inc. will close its Colorado Springs call center and lay off all 261 employees on March 31, the company told the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

StarTek is closing the center at 4455 Arrowswest Drive, near Garden of the Gods Road, "in response to the changing needs of some of our clients," spokeswoman Michelle Tripp said Friday in an email. "This was a very difficult decision to make and is no way a reflection on our employees or the highly valued work they perform."

The closing comes just 15 months after StarTek announced plans to hire 350 permanent, full-time employees and 70 temporary workers for the center by the end of 2016 after gaining a new health care industry client, which the company declined to name. The company had notified 175 employees at the center earlier in 2016 that they would lose their jobs because the needs of a health care industry client had changed, but shelved those plans after a telecommunications industry client expanded its contract with StarTek.

StarTek expanded to Colorado Springs in mid-2013 by acquiring RNs on Call, a local service that employed 30 nurses to take after-hours patient calls for about 1,000 physician offices, medical clinics and other medical offices. The company moved and expanded that operations to the Arrowswest Drive location a few months later. The company, which had declining revenue last year and shifted its focus to more profitable clients, operates 19 other call centers in Grand Junction, Greeley and six states, Canada, Honduras, Jamaica and The Philippines.

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