Citing companies' desire to bring IT work back onshore, CGI Group Inc. is building a $7 million, 40,000-square-foot center in Belton, Texas, about 60 miles north of Austin. The provider of IT and business-process services said the new center will create at least 350 new jobs, and perhaps as many as 400, by 2016.
The company chose the locale, about a half-hour from Fort Hood, because it offers a work force trained at nearby colleges, but who won't command the wages of those in major cities, according to an Associated Press story in the Austin American-Statesman. Belton has a population of around 15,000 people. The new facility will be the largest local employer, according to the Austin Business Journal, and no doubt folks there will appreciate the new jobs, though it seems condescending to me for the company to state from the outset that it located there because people would work for less. George Schindler, president of CGI in the U.S., is quoted as saying:
We're getting access to talent that is untapped. That's why we really look at these smaller communities.
Montreal-based CGI already has more than 700 employees across Texas and 31,000 worldwide. It has two other onshore centers, in Virginia and Alabama, that employ more than 650 workers.
And like most tech companies locating in Texas, it's feeding from the public trough. Apple, with a valuation that topped $600 billion this week, recently received $21 million in incentives for locating its Americas Operations Center in Austin. CGI will receive $1.8 million from the governor's Texas Enterprise Fund, designed to lure business to the state. Gov. Rick Perry has said that the fund has invested more than $443.4 million and signed contracts to generate 62,000 new jobs and more than $15.4 billion in capital investment.