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Starwood to open contact center in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. says it plans to hire about 180 people later this year for a new customer contact center in Wichita, Kan.

Officials of the Kansas Department of Commerce and Starwood Hotels announced plans for the center Thursday. Starwood says it plans to expand the center over the next five years, and could hire as many as 900 people in all.

Starwood is based in Stamford, Conn., and owns or manages Westin, Sheraton and other hotels and resorts.

The Wichita center will be one of several around the country. Employees will help guests book reservations at Starwood facilities and access preferred-guest services.

The company plans to start taking job applications in June.