Global tech company opening $27 million hub in Knoxville, plans to recruit UT students
CGI, a global tech company, has selected East Tennessee for its next U.S. support center, officials announced.
The company will open its eighth U.S. delivery center in Knoxville and has committed to investing $27 million investment and creating 300 tech jobs by 2026.
CGI will recruit heavily from the University of Tennessee.
The company conducted a two-year search process before landing on Knox County for its newest center, which will provide IT services and support to clients. While a permanent location hasn't been finalized yet, the company plans to locate its office in or near downtown.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe announced the news, along with Knoxville leaders and the Knoxville Chamber.
"They have been searching for two years for the ideal spot, looking for a place that had a highly skilled workforce, a growing economy, a pro-business environment," Lee said. "They found that and more in Knoxville and we are very pleased that they have made this decision. It strengthens Knoxville's reputation as a leader in technology and in business."
CGI President of U.S. Commercial and Government Operations Dave Henderson said the company chose Knox County for its regional commitment to innovation, "tremendous" quality of life, pool of potential employees at UT and a healthy business ecosystem.
“This is just the beginning," Henderson said. "Our new IT center in Knoxville is really part of a long-term plan that we have to engage regional educators, to support the workforce development in the region, create opportunities for communities, students, graduates and professionals, and that's what's exciting for us."
The firm has already begun a search for job candidates with experience in software development, business analytics and in-demand tech skills. Hiring will begin in March and interested candidates can learn more at cgi.com/us/en-us/careers.
"These are the kinds of jobs we want," Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon said.
CGI will work with UT to build a talent pipeline with the Haslam College of Business and Tickle College of Engineering to recruit students and alumni in the technology fields. CGI will focus on skills in advanced analytics, cybersecurity and digital transformation through emerging technologies.
Henderson said locating its delivery centers outside traditional tech hubs allows CGI to recruit the best computer science students in the area, including students who are underrepresented in STEM fields like women and people of color.
"You're going to help us attract and retain all the amazing, talented people who already live here and just want to stay and want to be part of this entrepreneurial hub that's addressing the challenges of our future," Kincannon said.
CGI was founded in 1976 and is one of the largest independent IT and business consulting services firms in the world. It employs 76,000 consultants and professionals at 400 locations worldwide. CGI currently employs 13,000 people in the U.S. and 120 of those are in Tennessee. CGI serves clients in manufacturing, utilities, health care, government, retail and other sectors.
This is the 10th economic development project Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development has supported in Knox County, according to a press release. Those deals resulted in $148 million in capital investment and commitments for 1,000 jobs.
Source: Knoxville News Sentinel, by Brenna McDermott
The East Tennessee Economic Development Agency markets and recruits business for the 15 counties in the greater Knoxville-Oak Ridge region of East Tennessee. Visit www.eteda.org
Published March 1, 2021