Joined by U.S. Senator Mark R. Warner and dozens of community and business leaders in Russell County, Virginia, CGI (NYSE: GIB) (TSX: GIB.A) today marked the 10-year anniversary of its Southwest Virginia Information Technology Center of Excellence, a full-service software development and systems integration facility in Lebanon that has created 400 jobs and generated a regional economic impact of $68.5 million per year since its dedication in 2006.
“Today, we are proud and honored to have become a part of this great community,” said Dave Henderson, President, CGI U.S. Operations. “Thanks to the commitment of leaders like Senator Warner and others who helped make our Center of Excellence in Virginia a reality, we can look back on this decade and say with confidence that Russell County had the right location, infrastructure, resources and people to join a network of leading-edge U.S. facilities that continue to provide the best IT services to CGI clients around the world.”
“Ten years later, the innovative economic development approach that helped bring solid IT jobs to Southwest Virginia continues to be a significant success story,” said U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-VA). “It is not an overstatement to say the opportunities here at CGI have helped change perceptions about opportunity and success for an entire generation of young people.
“And CGI now cites Russell County as a national model – a model for a smart way to create good software engineering and IT jobs outside of expensive and congested urban and suburban centers – a model for bringing opportunity and greater stability to rural communities like this one,” continued Warner. “We should not—and cannot—give up on our small towns and expect the rest of the state to prosper. And what you have done here in Lebanon is a success story – a success story that’s worth rewriting all across America.”
Heralded by then-Governor Warner in 2006 as “the best announcement in a decade for Russell County,” and by Governor Tim Kaine in 2007 as “an anchor of new economic development in the region,” the Lebanon center reflects CGI’s commitment to invest in full-service IT resources based in American communities offering competitive economic benefits and access to outstanding local talent. Like those in Alabama, Louisiana and Texas, CGI’s onshore delivery center in Virginia provides high-quality, high-value IT services at costs significantly below the averages for major metropolitan areas.
“Onshore delivery is an integral part of CGI’s global delivery model, which offers best-fit solutions using onsite, onshore, nearshore and off shore locations that today’s global clients need,” continued Henderson. “Working with our account teams, the talent in this Center helps CGI deliver both the steady-state IT services as well as the transformational digital innovation our clients are demanding.”
For its Virginia center, CGI selected Russell County for its geographic proximity to commercial and public sector clients; its access to a large, qualified talent pool from local universities, colleges, and technical institutes; and the strong business incentives and tremendous collaboration among the Commonwealth, local government, industrial and economic development agencies, academia, and local businesses.
As early as 2005, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the Russell County Industrial Development Authority and the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority to secure the Center for Virginia. A grant was approved by the Governor's Opportunity Fund to assist Russell County with the project, and the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission supported the effort from the Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund as well. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance also committed to provide training assistance through its Workforce Services Program.
“Nowhere has the cooperation between public leaders and the IT sector been more successful than in the cause of bringing our Center of Excellence to Southwest Virginia,” said Tim Hurlebaus, President of CGI’s U.S. Federal Government operations. “The coalition responsible for making CGI’s Lebanon facility a reality serves as a model for what communities can do when they share a commitment to innovation and economic growth.”
Today, the 42,000-square-foot facility in the Russell Regional Business and Technology Park houses 400 CGI software developers, analysts and consultants – surpassing an earlier estimate that predicted a total of 300 jobs at the Center. It is considered a boon for a region beset by high unemployment over the past several decades.
Founded in 1976, CGI Group Inc. is the fifth largest independent information technology and business process services firm in the world. Approximately 65,000 professionals serve thousands of global clients from offices and delivery centers across the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific, leveraging a comprehensive portfolio of services, including high-end business and IT consulting, systems integration, application development and maintenance and infrastructure management, as well as 150 IP-based services and solutions. With annual revenue in excess of C$10 billion and an order backlog exceeding C$20 billion, CGI shares are listed on the TSX (GIB.A) and the NYSE (GIB). Website: www.cgi.com.
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