There are a lot of ideas out there about how to create jobs and help revitalize America’s small towns, from bringing manufacturing back to the U.S., to retooling local workforces for the digital revolution.

But why would anyone move to a small community for an IT career? It turns out many locals would jump at the chance to live and work in their hometowns after years of watching their peers move away for better opportunities.

CGI has seen this first hand as we’ve created more than 1,600 of our 12,000 jobs in the U.S. (and 77,000 globally) by establishing full-service IT delivery centers in small-towns and communities not traditionally associated with tech sector growth.

  • How does it work? First, we look for great communities that commit to building high-tech infrastructure.
  • Second, we partner with nearby colleges or universities to support programs that generate graduates in our industry.
  • Third, we enlist great community allies – local economic development offices, chambers and elected officials willing to invest in the greatest resource of today’s economy: knowledge workers.

Not only does this model help build strong workforces and communities, it’s also key to providing world-class, end-to-end IT and digital services with lower costs and closer operational proximity than many other providers.

It is truly amazing what can happen when business people, community leaders and educators join forces on such a mission. Working closely in such partnerships, we’ve been able to generate millions of dollars of local economic activity, help develop the next generation IT workforce, and create high-quality jobs.

While the numbers speak for themselves, they don’t tell the whole story. To get a better sense of the impact, this video shows how our onshore delivery model is helping to transform one community. In Lebanon, Virginia, hundreds of CGI professionals work in a state-of-the-art facility that opened a decade ago. Nestled in the Appalachian Mountains of Southwest Virginia, our center sits in a community of just over 3,400 residents that experienced job losses of 20% the previous decade before the center opened. Hear what’s happening there now.

About this author

Picture of Aaron Mathes

Aaron Mathes

Vice President and U.S. Mid-Atlantic Sector Leader, CGI

Based in Richmond, Virginia, Aaron is responsible for CGI’s state and local government and commercial client engagement and service delivery in U. S. Mid-Atlantic states. Aaron has over 20 years of leadership experience in information technology, and partners with clients to develop digital transformation strategies ...

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