One of the world’s most familiar technology brands is branching out to Albuquerque with a new call center and 150 jobs.
Canon Information Technology Services Inc. announced Monday that it plans to open a 34,000-square-foot facility in the city’s Jefferson corridor in 2014.
Canon ITS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Canon U.S.A. and provides technical support to customers for products such as digital cameras, camcorders, printers, fax machines and copiers.
Hiring will begin in January and continue for up to three years. Canon ITS President Doris Higginbotham said the center should start taking calls by April.
The state, city and county each pledged $200,000 as part of an incentive package to get Canon to Albuquerque.
Gov. Susana Martinez, Mayor Richard Berry, Bernalillo County Commission Chairman Maggie Hart Stebbins and Albuquerque Economic Development Chairman Steve Maestas all heralded the deal as a team effort.
Maestas said the company first contacted AED in February 2012 when it was considering nine locations. The project gained momentum this year.
“They decided Albuquerque, N.M., is the best place for them, and we know they made a great choice,” Berry said.
Higginbotham cited several reasons why Canon ITS picked Albuquerque for the first expansion outside its Chesapeake, Va., headquarters, including weather. She said the devastation wreaked by Superstorm Sandy prompted the company to seek a West Coast location, and Albuquerque offered a climate with minimal risk for weather-related disruptions.
Higginbotham also noted the city’s bilingual workforce and its active film scene and creative community.
“One of the things we really liked here with this area is the fact there is a presence for the film industry. … The community embraces the arts and photography and digital media, so it really was the best fit for us in terms of growing our business,” she told the Journal after the news conference.
Asked how important the $600,000 incentive package was in the decision, Higginbotham said: “It helped. You’ve got the icing on the cake, and it was sort of some sprinkles on top.”
Higginbotham said company policy prevented her from disclosing salaries for the Albuquerque center, but a city news release said the average salary is expected to be $35,000 a year plus benefits.