When global firm Infosys was looking for a location for one of its four new U.S. technology and innovation hubs, Wake County was a clear choice.
“We were super impressed with the academic ecosystem around us in North Carolina and Raleigh specifically,” said Infosys President Ravi Kumar.
Infosys will bring 2,000 jobs—including software developers, analysts, digital architects, and other tech professionals—to the area by 2021, with the first 500 employees hired by the end of the year. Salaries will average $71,000, delivering a total payroll impact of more than $130 million each year to the community, once all positions are filled. The company plans to invest $8.73 million in Wake County as part of a project estimated to contribute $2.9 billion to North Carolina’s economy.
"It is our endeavor, and our passion, to be a leader in boosting American innovation in the transformation of core industries, and to help create the next generation of American innovators and entrepreneurs through world-class education and training," said Dr. Vishal Sikka, Infosys CEO. "This is absolutely critical as we help our U.S. clients, and every client, renew their core businesses and simultaneously innovate into new breakthrough areas, while empowering employees through learning and education. To this end, North Carolina was a clear partner for us, and we are really excited to announce one of the largest jobs commitments ever in North Carolina state history.”
Company officials emphasized four factors that helped them make their decision: a talented workforce, diverse economy, vibrant startup community, and top-tier universities and community colleges.
Wake County is experiencing massive growth—and so is its workforce. Growing at a rate of 67 people per day, with 50 percent of those having a bachelor’s degree or higher, it’s no wonder that companies are finding the talent here that they need to thrive. Our talent pool helps set us apart as one of the top three labor markets in the U.S.
North Carolina’s central role in technology innovation makes it a perfect fit for Infosys, Gov. Roy Cooper said. Sikka, Infosys CEO, also pointed to the area’s strength in financial services and life sciences.
Wake County and the Research Triangle region have one of the largest concentrations of tech talent in the nation across analytics, mobile applications, open source, healthcare IT, cloud computing, and cyber security. Just last year, Raleigh ranked fourth in the country for having the highest concentration of technology job openings right behind San Francisco, Austin and Seattle.
With more than 600 life science companies, North Carolina collectively employs 63,000 people at an average wage of $80,000 per year. Of the 600 North Carolina companies, more than 450 of them are in Wake County and the Research Triangle.
Vibrant Startup Community
In 2016, Inc. Magazine named Raleigh the fifth best city outside of Silicon Valley to start a company or invest in startups. Raleigh’s thriving startup ecosystem includes more than 500 companies representing over 2,500 jobs in diverse industry sectors.
“That was a huge, attractive value-added proposition for us to locate ourselves in Wake County," Kumar said. "We do think we could invest, incubate and drive those startups to be a part of our ecosystem."
To view startup companies in Raleigh, visit the City of Raleigh Office of Economic Development's interactive startup map. For a look into Raleigh's robust innovation community, visit Innovate Raleigh.
Top-tier Universities and Community Colleges
Infosys’ new hires will include recent graduates from the state’s prestigious network of colleges, universities, and community colleges, as well as local professionals who will benefit from upskilling through the company’s world-class training curriculum. Infosys will partner with the North Carolina community college system to create a customized program designed to train the workforce of the future. The state is also contributing a $3 million grant towards upskilling these workers.
Wake Technical Community College President Dr. Stephen Scott reinforced the school’s commitment to training the employees the company needs:
The strength of the Community College system is working with employers to provide the training they need from our students. #WakeTech— Dr. Stephen Scott (@DrStephenCScott) July 6, 2017
A Collaborative Effort
“This announcement represents one of the largest jobs commitments ever in the state of North Carolina, and we are excited to welcome Infosys to the region,” said Michael Haley, executive director of Wake County Economic Development.
“In talking to leaders at Infosys, we heard how important innovation, education, talent, and partnerships are to the company, and how much those factors played into the decision to locate in Wake County. I’m confident that our community will be an advocate for all of those things going forward.”
WCED and the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce led the project in partnership with the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina and NC Commerce. Additional collaboration came from the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Community College System, North Carolina State University, Wake Technical Community College, Capital Area Workforce Development Board, Wake County, the City of Raleigh, the Town of Cary, and the Town of Morrisville.
To find out more about what makes the greater Raleigh and Wake County area attractive to both companies and top talent, visit www.raleigh-wake.org.