Tuesday, 13 December 2011 by Thomas Tavaziva
The Belton Economic Development Corporation has worked together with CGI to provide substantial economic development for Belton that will result in employment opportunities.
Last month, Gov. Rick Perry announced that the state was investing $1.8 million through the Texas Enterprise Fund in CGI for the creation of the new United States onshore delivery center in Belton.
Following that announcement, the BEDC and the City of Belton formally approved plans for CGI to establish roots in the community.
City Manager Sam Listi believes that the partnership that has been formed between the firm and the city will reap massive rewards.
"Recruiting CGI will be a good match for our economy," Listi said. "We worked with BEDC and felt that CGI will be a positive asset to have for our economic development. Belton has a good market for the kind of high quality workforce that CGI will provide.
"The addition of CGI to the workforce seems complimentary to the young and quality workforce that exists already and we believe that this firm will be well-received by the community."
CGI is a business services provider with more than 31,000 professionals operating in more than 120 offices worldwide in 16 countries.
The company is renowned worldwide for providing global information technology and is now branching to Central Texas to provide a plethora of employment opportunities for Belton and surrounding cities.
It is recognized as one of the largest independent information technology and business process services firms in the world, which BEDC Executive Director Cynthia Hernandez believes will be a pivotal factor in attracting other firms to Belton.
CGI applies business and technology strategies, processes and tools to help clients address various business related challenges by providing consulting and outsourcing services, as well as delivering system integrations.
CGI Vice President of U.S Communications Linda Odorisio is confident that the partnership between CGI and Belton will prove to be beneficial for both parties.
"The partnership between CGI, BEDC and the City of Belton has been strong from the beginning of our joint exploration process," Odorisio said. "Under Cynthia Hernandez's leadership at BEDC and her commitment to the project, we knew early on that Belton would be a great fit for CGI. BEDC has a strong vision and enthusiasm for continuing to grow the community and to diversify the types of business in town."
BEDC received a lead from the Governor's Office of Economic Development about the Canadian based firm's intention to further expand its influence in Texas. They narrowed their search to the Central Texas and after several visits to the area they narrowed it to Belton.
Plans are underway to start building the estimated 40,000 square-foot building in the Belton Business Park.
"The obvious impact that CGI will have is the creation of 400 jobs," Hernandez said. "The skilled labor force they will hire will provide an increase in our tax base."
CGI has agreed to maintain a yearly salary of approximately $40,000 for employees.
"Working with CGI is great for the city because of the domino effect that will take place as a result," Hernandez said. "We believe that CGI's addition to our current workforce will add to our tax base and will help retain the skill set we have, including our college students that tend to find employment in larger cities upon graduating. We also anticipate that other employers looking to invest will be attracted to Belton."
Among the factors influencing the CGI's choice of Belton for the new Center were strong partnerships with the state, local governments, Fort Hood and local universities and technical institutes.
CGI's first two Centers of Excellence are located in Lebanon, Va. and Troy, Ala. with a total of 600 employees at those combined centers with an additional 150 positions planned through 2012.
"Belton has been and continues to be an excellent partner and host for our newest center," Odorisio said. "With the continuing support of the community, we will establish a successful IT delivery center which will employ the region's finest IT professionals."