North Carolina Economic Development Guide

2016

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43 North Carolina Economic Development Guide North Carolina's Research Triangle region offers companies the assets that they need and the home that their workers want, thanks to world-class research universities, low costs, thriving downtowns and a high quality of life. Those have made its technology-job growth one of the fastest in the nation. Solution: Technology companies need talent to grow, and their workers want to live where they have access to good jobs, education and their preferred lifestyle. Challenge: Research Triangle A s a kid growing up in the west African country of Ghana, James Landy discovered the storied Duke University Blue Devils basketball program through radio and TV broadcasts. Now 48 and a Raleigh resident since 1995, he supports his favorite college team in person and with the logo-emblazoned clothes he wears to the gym. "For me, Duke has always been a center of attraction." Landy holds computer-science and applied-mathematics degrees. As a graduate student at N.C. Central University in Durham, he went from intern to full-time software engineer at Cary-based SAS Institute Inc. "SAS is absolutely great to work for," he says. "It's a really fl exible workplace. Everyone knows you're here to get the job done." With more than $3 billion in 2014 revenue, the privately held data-analysis software developer has customers in 141 countries. Its buyers include 93 of the top 100 Fortune Global 500 companies. It has nearly 5,500 employees at its headquarters, and its 13,775-person workforce is on fi ve continents. North Carolina's Research Triangle region — formed around Research Triangle Park, Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill — has become a hotbed for technology companies and their workers. Like Landy, many tech-savvy professionals have left points around the globe to work here and so have technology companies. In 2009, Uttar Pradesh, India-based HCL Technologies, for example, broke ground on its Cary location, which would employ 815 people fi ve years later. By mid-2015, the information- technology services provider, which is among India's largest publicly-traded companies with $22 billion in market capitalization, was deep into a 1,200-job expansion in Cary. Executives describe the $9 million, 125,000-square- foot Global Delivery Center as a cornerstone of the company's growth strategy. "The Research Triangle Region's IT industry is global in its scope and global in its ambitions," says Charles Hayes, president and CEO of the Research Triangle Regional Partnership, which coordinates marketing for 15 counties. "It's only natural that the talent behind its success also is global." North Carolina ranks No. 6 in the nation for technology employment growth, according to a report by Raleigh- based trade group North Carolina Technology Association. Much of that is powered by companies in the Research Triangle region, where SAS is a neighbor to technology giants including Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM Corp., San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco Systems Inc., Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Citrix Systems Inc. and Raleigh-based Red Hat Inc. In 2015, New York-based MetLife Inc. opened the fi rst phase of its Global Technology & Operations center in Cary. The nation's largest insurer will hire 1,300 engineers, software developers, project managers and other technical

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