Another tech firm will expand in Charlotte in exchange for more incentives

Francisco D’Souza (center), president & CEO of Cognizant Technology Solutions, heads one of the biggest outsourcing firms.
Francisco D’Souza (center), president & CEO of Cognizant Technology Solutions, heads one of the biggest outsourcing firms. Courtesy of Nasdaq

The IT and consulting company Cognizant Technology Solutions will add 300 jobs in Charlotte, thanks in part to an incentives package of over $2.1 million from the city, county and state.

North Carolina’s Economic Investment Committee on Thursday morning approved a Job Development Investment Grant of over $2 million spread over 12 years, provided that the company meet its job hiring goals, according to a press release from the office of Gov. Roy Cooper. The company will receive an additional $138,339 from the city and county, the committee said during its meeting.

Competition for the Cognizant expansion included Phoenix and Tampa, Fla., which both offered $4 million in incentives, the committee said.

In announcing Cognizant’s package, the committee also approved $671,000 for the state’s utility account, which helps rural counties fund infrastructure projects.

Cognizant will add a variety of positions in Charlotte, including IT application developers and business consultants. Salaries for the new positions will average $68,317.

A Fortune 500 company, Cognizant has its headquarters in New Jersey and specializes in providing tech and consulting services. The company has in the past relied on outsourcing technology positions overseas and using the H-1B visa program for hiring foreign workers. Cognizant, which employs 2,700 people in North Carolina, has a local office near UNC Charlotte.

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CEO Francisco D’Souza said in a statement Thursday that the company decided to expand in Charlotte because the region is home to “a strong talent base” as well as many of Cognizant’s clients.

This isn’t the first time that Cognizant has received incentives in exchange for hiring in North Carolina.

In 2014, the state awarded the company up to nearly $5.1 million over 12 years for expanding its N.C. presence, including hiring 150 workers in Charlotte and 350 elsewhere around the state.

Cognizant’s news marks the latest of several job-expansion announcements in Charlotte in recent weeks.

This week, Charlotte tech firm AvidXchange said it would add up to 1,200 jobs over five years, more than doubling its local workforce, in exchange for over $22 million in state, city and county incentives.

This month, manufacturing tech giant Honeywell said it would move its headquarters from New Jersey to Charlotte in exchange for more than $80 million in incentives from the city, county and state.

Cognizant said Thursday that with its local expansion plans, it will partner with Tech Talent South, a coding boot camp, as well as the North Carolina Community College System and local universities, to provide training programs for in-demand tech skills.

“Our state offers a large number of talented information technology workers, and we’ve also committed the time, money, and resources to make sure our education and workforce development systems will continue to deliver the skilled people companies need,” Cooper said in a statement Thursday.

Durham Herald Sun reporter Zachery Eanes contributed.

As the retail and sports business reporter for the Observer, Katie Peralta covers everything from grocery-store competition in Charlotte to tax breaks for pro sports teams. She is a Chicago native and graduate of the University of Notre Dame.