Microsoft Canada has announced the creation of an Excellence Centre in Vancouver at the top two floors of Pacific Centre – the office space above the Nordstrom department store.
“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. “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.”
The development of Microsoft Canada Excellence Centre (MCEC) will create new job opportunities and enable local knowledge transfer. Microsoft’s expansion will also include Foundry Vancouver, an annual program that will provide 50 students from Canadian universities with paid 16-week internships beginning this summer.
“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,” stated 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.”
The jobs at Microsoft’s expanded presence in Vancouver will focus on further expanding and developing on the company’s software and online applications, including Microsoft Office, Office 365, SharePoint, Exchange, Yammer, Lync, Skype, Bing, Bing Apps, MSN and advertising platforms.
Microsoft is committed with the initiative on a long-term basis and has signed an 11-year long lease at the office space.
About 400 new jobs will be created, doubling the technology giant’s workforce in Vancouver, to become Microsoft’s largest hub in Canada. 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.
“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,” City of Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson added. “I look forward to Microsoft playing an even larger role in Vancouver’s exciting economic future.”
The new state-of-the-art facility will open in late-2015.
Featured Image: Pacific Centre