Qwest is hiring. The phone company that merged with U-S West in 2000 laid off tens of thousands of workers and struggled with heavy losses, but spokeswoman Nancy DeVinay-McNeley says Qwest is looking to hire 500 people in ten states including Iowa. They’re fulltime jobs in the sales, care and solutions center and “El Centro” many sales positions but also answering customer questions and helping solve problems. El Centro is the center where phone-service reps handle questions and calls from spanish-speaking customers. Hiring begins immediately, the the company hopes to fill them all in eht next several weeks, working in existing Qwest business locations. Qwest has already hired 600 people over the last year and though DeVinay-McNeley says it’s not entirely recovered from the slump of the last two or three years, this is another positive sign the company hopes will signal better days ahead. Qwest had nearly 50-thousand employees nationwide as of March 31st. The new jobs will be created in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington.