Microsoft to open new centre in downtown Vancouver in 2015

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Microsoft will open a new training and development centre next year that is expected to create 400 jobs in Vancouver.

The Microsoft Canada Excellence Centre is scheduled to open by late 2015 in the Pacific Centre redevelopment downtown.

Janet Kennedy, the president of Microsoft Canada, said the new centre is expected to bring more than $90 million annually in investment, and generate more than $180 million in economic impact.

“It will help us build the vision to bring the best and the brightest talents and have them live and work here in what we consider a world-class technology hub in Vancouver,” she stated at a press conference today (May 1).

The tech company will start hiring new employees this summer, and will employ the first 25 interns as part of a new program for Canadian university students. The “Foundry Vancouver” program will expand to 50 interns next year.

The new centre will more than double Microsoft’s current workforce in the city, according to Karen Jones, Microsoft’s deputy general counsel.

“We’re really thrilled by this unique opportunity to spur technological innovation and create what we think will be a really cutting edge training and educational centre, which will have positive ripple effects across the local, provincial, and national economy,” she said.

Shirley Bond, B.C.’s minister of jobs, tourism and skills training, said Microsoft’s decision to open the new centre in Vancouver will “expand British Columbia’s footprint”.

“It will encourage others to come and consider investing, training, working here in British Columbia,” she said. “It’s a catalyst for future investment.”

Mayor Gregor Robertson called it “incredible good news for our city”.

“It’s great news when companies of Microsoft’s stature are compelled to be in Vancouver and build their business and create jobs here without incentives,” he said.

“The government of B.C. has provided generous incentives to tech companies and film and television that have enabled huge industries to grow here, but we’re moving beyond that phase with some industries and able to compete toe-to-toe, and attract people and investments from around the world, which is great news.”

The Microsoft Canada Development Centre was established in Vancouver in 2007. It currently employs about 300 full-time workers.

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