Business

Microsoft Canada opening new, 400-employee centre in Vancouver

The entrance to Pacific Centre in downtown Vancouver, which will soon house a Nordstrom
The entrance to Pacific Centre in downtown Vancouver, which will soon house a Nordstrom's department store and a new Microsoft office.
— image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Microsoft will open a new office in downtown Vancouver – in the city's Pacific Centre mall, above an incoming Nordstrom's department store – that will create 400 new jobs.

According to VanCity Buzz, "It is estimated that $90 million will be invested in the facility each year, resulting in more than $181.4 million in annual local economic spinoffs."

The new space will open in 2015 and will be known as the Microsoft Canada Excellence Centre (MCEC). The company says it will begin hiring employees this summer, full-time to work at the MCEC.

They will be hired to work in software and services engineering, program and solutions management, and will work on Microsoft Office, Office 365, SharePoint, Exchange, Yammer, Lync, Skype, Bing, Bing Apps, MSN and Advertising platforms.

"Vancouver is a vibrant international hub for technology development with growth potential given its attractive location, amenities, reputation and proximity to top British Columbia universities and a highly-educated and diverse workforce and population," said Janet Kennedy, President of Microsoft Canada, in a news release. "This investment will enable us to create a world-class center of training and innovation that will have a positive ripple effect across the local, provincial and national economy."

It will serve as a training and development centre, and it will come in at the same time as Microsoft's new "Foundry Vancouver" program, which will give opportunities to over 50 students from Canadian universities.

"The Foundry Vancouver program builds on a highly-successful Microsoft model program in Massachusetts, which has helped provide students with valuable real-world experience and mentorship," said Karen Jones, Microsoft's deputy general counsel. "By working side-by-side with leading engineers, coders, designers and developers, Canadian university students will gain hands-on skills that could increase their success in the job market upon graduation.

"This innovative Foundry Vancouver program is an exciting complement to Microsoft's current university programs in Canada."

Canadian politicians also welcomed the company to B.C.'s biggest city.

"Microsoft's establishment of a new Excellence Centre is more important validation of Vancouver's continued emergence as a world-leading hub for innovation, with unprecedented new investment and job creation in our fast-growing digital technology sector," said the city's mayor Gregor Robertson.

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