Microsoft announced plans to open a new training and development centre which will significantly expand the company’s investment in Canada. The new “Microsoft Canada Excellence Centre” (MCEC) is slated to open by late 2015 and will be located in a state-of-the-art facility in the Pacific Centre in the heart of downtown Vancouver.
A recent study by Ernst & Young LLP estimated that Microsoft’s new investment in Vancouver will be at least $90 million annually, resulting in more than $181.4 million per year in direct, indirect and induced economic growth as well as new job opportunities and knowledge transfer to British Columbians and Canadians.
“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.”
Beginning in the summer of 2014, Microsoft will hire its first new full-time employees at the MCEC focusing on software and services engineering, program and solutions management in Microsoft’s Applications and Services Group. This group is responsible for all of the research and development across Microsoft Office, Office 365, SharePoint, Exchange, Yammer, Lync, Skype, Bing, Bing Apps, MSN and Advertising platforms. Teams at the MCEC will be from a subset of these organizations. Eventually, Microsoft expects the MCEC to create 400 new jobs in Vancouver, more than doubling its local workforce.
In addition, Microsoft will establish the “Foundry Vancouver” program to provide opportunities to over 50 students drawn from Canadian universities. This paid internship program invites development and design students enrolled at Canadian universities to participate in a 16-week intensive program that centers on building applications for Microsoft’s latest platforms and devices. This program builds upon existing work with Canadian universities and the first 25 interns are expected to begin work by this summer.
“The Vancouver expansion of one of the world’s most innovative technological firms is recognition of Canada’s talent pool and investment climate,” said James Moore, Minister Responsible for British Columbia and Minister of Industry through an issued statement. “It is also a validation that Canada is well positioned to take advantage of the global opportunities of the digital economy. Our government’s top priority remains creating jobs and growth, and promoting Canada’s digital economy is an essential part of our plan. On behalf of the Government of Canada, I welcome this important investment in Canada’s economy.”