Business

Charlotte missed out on 500 high-paying tech jobs, records show

Gov. Roy Cooper, left, and Infosys President Ravi Kumar announced in July that the tech company plans to open a facility in the Triangle, where it will add 2,000 jobs. Records show that Infosys considered Charlotte for part of its expansion (500 jobs) before landing on Wake County.
Gov. Roy Cooper, left, and Infosys President Ravi Kumar announced in July that the tech company plans to open a facility in the Triangle, where it will add 2,000 jobs. Records show that Infosys considered Charlotte for part of its expansion (500 jobs) before landing on Wake County. cseward@newsobserver.com

Before the Indian technology consulting firm Infosys decided on Wake County as a site for a major U.S. expansion, the company considered adding as many as 500 high-paying jobs in Charlotte.

Gov. Roy Cooper met with Infosys executives earlier this spring at the executive mansion in Raleigh to learn about the firm’s growth plans in North Carolina, according to a May agenda the Observer acquired through a public records request.

“Currently, Infosys is exploring location options in either Wake County or Mecklenburg County. The most recent scenario now has the company considering both communities. The plan would be to create approximately 2/3 of the jobs in the Triangle and the remaining 1/3 in Charlotte,” the agenda read.

The purpose of the meeting was threefold, according to the agenda: For Cooper to “personally endorse the project and lend his assistance to overcome any upcoming issues,” to tout North Carolina’s ability to attract talent, its strong workforce, livability and low cost of doing business, and support Infosys’s efforts in locating their business in North Carolina.

Ultimately, Infosys decided to locate all 2,000 of the new jobs in Wake County, one of four planned innovation and technology hubs in the United States. The Wake County hub, the location of which has not yet been selected, will focus on cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, big data and cloud applications, The (Raleigh) News & Observer has reported.

In exchange for a $25 million incentives package, the company says it plans to hire up to 500 American workers at the new office by the end of 2018. Job functions include software developers, analysts and digital architects – positions that pay $72,146 on average.

“Infosys decided to build a tech innovation hub in North Carolina because of the state’s innovation economy, proximity to numerous customers, and the opportunity to recruit both talented American IT workers and graduates from multiple universities we partner with in the region,” the company said in an emailed statement to the Observer.

Infosys currently employs roughly 1,200 people in Charlotte, the company says.

According to the meeting agenda, the North Carolina expansion marks a “cultural change” for Infosys, which is known for hiring Indian engineers on H-1B visas and does outsourcing work for U.S. businesses, such as IBM and Charlotte-based Bank of America.

“By creating these ‘regional innovation hubs’ they feel that this will lead to a more unified corporate culture, a better cross pollination of ideas, and ultimately better customer service,” the agenda read.

Infosys employs more than 200,000 around the world and about 27,000 in the United States, including 1,138 in Raleigh, Charlotte and elsewhere in North Carolina.

The (Raleigh) News & Observer contributed.

Katherine Peralta: 704-358-5079, @katieperalta

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