PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A rare, encouraging note about employment came today, and it affects Pittsburgh.
Zoom – the video communication company based in San Jose, California – announced it will set up an office here and hire hundreds of people.
“Zoom came looking for Pittsburgh,” says Mark Thomas, president of the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, after the company revealed plans for a new research and development office in Pittsburgh, and another in Phoenix, AZ.
“They have very specific interests around cybersecurity and people who understand that technology, and when they started looking at places that had the type of talent, we performed really well. Then it was our job to go in and make the pitch that they should be here.”
Zoom says it’ll locate near Carnegie-Mellon University, with its highly regarded Software Engineering Institute. But Zoom told KDKA that “in addition to CMU, we also know that there are about 60 other regional universities and schools that will add to the pool of incredible talent.”
Zoom says it’s hiring immediately, with employees working from home at least through September. It plans to fill 500 jobs between Pittsburgh and Phoenix. The breakdown is unknown, but Mark Thomas is hopeful.
“We could deliver 400 of that 500. I think we’re in a good position. I’m just optimistic that as the company grows, they’ll see other opportunities to expand and create a larger presence here.”
Thomas says the Amazon HQ2 bidding process built synergy among local universities, companies and community groups. He says that, along with the national attention surrounding Pittsburgh becoming a finalist, further positioned this area as a growing innovation hub. And he says in Zoom’s case, no financial incentive was required.