March 10, 2012
iPad Maker To Open New Operations Center in Austin, Texas
Apple has announced plans to build a new, $300-plus million dollar campus in Austin, Texas that will reportedly be second in size only to the company's worldwide headquarters in Cupertino, California.
According to Poornima Gupta of Reuters, Austin was already home to a customer support and complaints center for the Mac, iPhone, and iPad manufacturer. That facility currently employs "thousands" of people, Gupta said, while the forthcoming center will create 3,600 additional jobs over the next 10 years.
"Our operations in Austin has grown dramatically over the past decade from less than 1,000 in 2004 to more than 3,500 today," Apple spokesman Steve Dowling told Reuters.
KXAN reporter Kimberly Reeves said on Friday that the installation will be called the Americas Operation Center and will serve as "the hub for the company in the Americas." Apple is expected to break ground on the two-phase project in June, with the first portion of the facility -- which will be located on a 40 acre plot of land next to their existing customer service center in Riata Vista in North Austin -- to be finished sometime in 2013.
In exchange for Apple's total capital investment of $304.5 million for the new facility, the city of Austin has pledged a performance-based grant of $8.6 million over a period of a decade, Reeves said. Furthermore, a press release sent out by the office of Texas Governor Rick Perry on Friday added that the state had promised a $21 million, 10-year investment through what is known as the Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF).
"Apple is known for its bold innovation and game-changing designs, and the expansion of their Austin facility adds to the growing list of visionary high-tech companies that have found that Texas' economic climate is a perfect fit for their future, thanks to our low taxes, reasonable and predictable regulations, fair legal system and skilled workforce" Perry said in a statement. "Investments like this further Texas' potential to become the nation's next high-tech hub."
Apple has told city officials that the majority of all entry level, staff, supervisory and management positions will be filled with local workers, and the average annual wages for these positions are expected to be in the $40,000 to $114,000 range, Reeves reported. Most of the openings will be entry level, and it is estimated that employees at the facility will add $15 million worth of purchases annually to the local economy, she added.
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