Less than six months after around 500 layoffs at their Conway facility, Hewlett-Packard on Wednesday (Dec. 18) announced plans to establish a “regional industry development center” that would add approximately 200 jobs to that same site during 2014.
The Palo Alto, Calif.-based computer firm opened its Conway service center in 2010. News of the state landing the Hewlett-Packard facility in Conway was heralded as game-changing for the state’s economic reputation. The city’s two colleges and one university were to be a feeder for the tech jobs the center would field. At the time, as many as 1,500 jobs were expected.
John Herzog, Hewlett-Packard account executive, said Wednesday that “these new employees will fill important technical roles in software engineering, business analysis and management in support of HP’s growing government and commercial healthcare business across the United States.”
Gov. Mike Beebe said the announcement represented the resiliency of Arkansas’s growing technology workforce.
“The skill level of these jobs, the salaries and the field of expertise all prove that Arkansas’s workforce can compete for high-quality jobs and adjust to the changing demands of HP’s market,” Beebe said in a statement issued by the Conway Development Corp.
Hewlett-Packard cited the presence of three colleges and universities, high-quality workforce and hundreds of existing HP employees working locally as the key drivers for the project. The “Industry Development Center” is a centralized group of highly skilled HP staff that builds, enhances and implements HP’s healthcare industry solutions for many commercial and state clients.
Conway Mayor Tab Townsell said the news should re-affirm Conway citizen’s faith in the strength of the community’s relationship with the tech giant.
“The fundamental reasons we were excited about this project five years ago have not changed. Conway has a quality workforce. HP has the wherewithal to withstand the ebbs and flows of the global economy. Today is a great example of Conway and HP succeeding together.”