Infor, a multi-national technology company based in New York City, will open a branch in Charleston and bring 100 jobs to the area, according to state and local officials.
According to a news release from Gov. Jim Justice’s office, Infor “develops business cloud software, specialized by specific industries. The company’s products are used in sectors that range from aerospace to manufacturing to professional services.”
“The Charleston operation will run cloud applications for local, state and federal government agencies and the contractors who support them,” according to the release. The 100 jobs will be specialized positions in software engineering, cloud operations and consulting and support services, according to the release.
The new 12,000-square-foot office is located on the sixth floor of the 18-story Laidley Tower in Charleston.
As of Thursday, Infor has hired 16 people who are working in a temporary office on Capitol Street. The company anticipates opening the permanent office in July, according to an Infor spokesperson, and plans to hire the full 100 employees over the next year and a half. Potential employees may apply at infor.com/about/careers.
Infor will work with Marshall University and West Virginia State University to create a “technical talent pipeline,” according to the release. WVSU representatives could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Other tech companies also have set up shop recently in Charleston and the surrounding area. N3, an international integrated sales and marketing firm, announced in 2017 that it was opening an office in South Charleston’s West Virginia Regional Technology Park. Resolver, a Canadian-based company, came to Charleston in 2017, when it acquired the West Virginia-based software company, Global AlertLink.
“I think we’re beginning to see a cluster forming, which is good because it typically attracts other companies,” said Matt Ballard, president and CEO of the Charleston Area Alliance.
Tech companies might be attracted to West Virginia because it’s a “middle-market,” Ballard said. Historically, tech companies have been drawn to places where it’s expensive to live.
“From Boston to San Francisco it’s hard to live there because it’s so expensive,” Ballard said. “When you have to pay someone substantially more because the cost of living is so high it impacts the company’s bottom line.”
Charleston Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin said the new business is an opportunity to diversify jobs downtown.
“This is in line with my focus to diversify our city’s job offerings, provide opportunities to create a more vibrant community and grow Charleston’s position within the technology sector,” Goodwin said.
Infor is a privately held company founded in 2002 by private equity firms Golden Gate Capital and Summit Partners, according to media reports. In November 2016, the investment branch of Koch Industries spent more than $2 billion to acquire “a significant stake” in the company, according to Reuters. Earlier this year, the Koch firm and Golden Gate Capital put another $1.5 billion into the company, and company officials said they might offer stock shares publicly this year or next.
Infor’s Coleman Intelligence Platform is named after physicist and mathematician Katherine Coleman Johnson, a West Virginia native and graduate of what was then West Virginia State College, whose work at NASA helped land American astronauts on the moon and return them safely to Earth.
Infor will be hiring at the Kanawha Valley Job Fair on March 22 at the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center. N3 said it also will participate in the job fair and is looking to add 100 people to its workforce.