GE deal brings hi-tech positions to Henrico CountySeptember 01, 2011 6:00 AM
by Doug Childers
Information technology professionals in Greater Richmond might want to polish their résumés. General Electric has chosen Henrico County for its first facility to focus specifically on cyber security, and the company expects to hire 200 IT professionals over the course of the next three years.
Annual salaries for the positions will average a healthy $100,000.
The Information Security Technology Center, which opened in August, focuses on “security management strategies to prevent, detect and remediate risks to GE’s data, assets and intellectual property,” says GE spokeswoman Deia Campanelli.
The center is located in the Innsbrook Corporate Center in western Henrico County.
GE, a Fortune 50 company that specializes in energy, technology and financial services, chose Virginia over several other states, Campanelli says.
Three qualities distinguished Virginia from its competitors, says Liz Povar, director of business development for the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP): The talent pool in Greater Richmond, the caliber of the commonwealth’s colleges and universities, and CNBC’s ranking of Virginia as the top state for business.
Several organizations helped land the deal. Among them were the VEDP, the Greater Richmond Partnership and the Henrico Economic Development Authority, as well as “a variety of local universities,” Campanelli says.
GE will receive $300,000 through the commonwealth’s Virginia Jobs Investment Program to help pay for employee recruitment and training, and it also qualifies for a Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit.
The deal marks a significant milestone for the region, Povar says. “This project validates the region’s infrastructure, talent, connectivity with higher education and [the fact that cyber security] is a growing sector.”
Other economic development coups for the region include:
In May, Fortistar LLC, a renewable energy company based in White Plains, N.Y., broke ground for a new landfill gas-to-energy power plant in Henrico County. The $12 million project will create 15 new jobs.
Emerson Ecologics LLC, a Bedford, N.H.-based provider of nutritional supplements to the health-care practitioner market, announced plans in June to open a distribution facility in Chesterfield County. The project, expected to cost up to $1 million, will bring 60 jobs to the region over the next three years.
Also in June, Tiffany & Co. announced that it would open a 2,500-square-foot high-end jewelry store at Stony Point Fashion Park in Richmond. This will be the company’s second store in Virginia. (The other is in Tysons Corner.) Tiffany will hire about 20 people to staff the Richmond store.
Networking Technologies and Support Inc., which provides a broad range of high-technology products and services, announced plans in July to invest $1.5 million to expand its headquarters operation in Chesterfield County. The project will create 140 new jobs over the next three years.
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