Investment to significantly benefit local economy
VANCOUVER, May 1, 2014 /CNW/ - Microsoft announced plans today 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
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
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 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, who helped bring the program to
Canada. "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
Canadian officials joined Microsoft today in voicing support for this
new investment. The Honourable Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism
and Skills Training, stated: "I want to welcome the Microsoft Canada
Excellence Centre to British Columbia. They could have located anywhere
in the world and they chose B.C. Our province has become a global hub
for the high tech sector with our excellent infrastructure, strategic
proximity to the largest markets, and our highly skilled labour force.
The new Microsoft Excellence Centre fits in with our Jobs Plan goal of
building on knowledge-based sectors to attract, sustain, and promote
our export markets."
"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
"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. "Microsoft's expanded presence in Vancouver
will help attract the world's top talent, innovators, and ideas to our
city, and contribute substantially to the growth of our knowledge-based
economy with 400 new jobs and over $90 million in new annual
investment. I look forward to Microsoft playing an even larger role in
Vancouver's exciting economic future."
Since the inception of the Microsoft Canada Development Centre in 2007,
Microsoft has steadily grown a thriving workforce in British Columbia.
In 2009, Microsoft acquired Big Park Studios, home to Next Generation
TV experiences like NFL on Xbox ONE; in 2012, Black Tusk Studios was
launched; and in 2014, the award-winning Gears of War franchise was
added to Microsoft's gaming portfolio in Vancouver. The business
currently employs approximately 300 fulltime employees who focus on the
development of cutting edge entertainment technologies, products, and
services for Microsoft XBOX and the company's larger business.
In addition, Microsoft has helped provide development opportunities for
Canada's youth as part of its YouthSpark global initiative. Since
September 2012 launch, YouthSpark has reached over 5 million youth in
Canada. Through work with key YouthSpark partners, Microsoft's efforts
in Canada support opportunities for education, STEM enrichment and
career aspiration, innovation and children's health. In Canada,
Microsoft has partnered with Boys and Girls Club, Frontier College,
Youth Science Canada, Shad Valley, and Children's Miracle Network to
deliver YouthSpark programs in BC.
In 2014, through the support of a Microsoft grant, Kids Learning Code
will be extending programming to British Columbia. In 2015, Pathways
to Education, which has received more than $1 million in-kind and cash
grants from Microsoft, will open a new location in Vancouver.
Microsoft's ongoing commitment and investment to developing and
creating opportunities for local youth will play a key role in
improving the long term economic growth of Vancouver, the province, and
Canada as a whole.
About Microsoft Canada
Established in 1985, Microsoft Canada Inc. is the Canadian subsidiary of
Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq "MSFT") the worldwide leader in software,
services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their
full potential. Microsoft Canada provides nationwide sales, marketing,
consulting and local support services in both French and English.
Headquartered in Mississauga, Microsoft Canada has nine regional
offices across the country dedicated to empowering people through great
software - any time, any place and on any device. For more information
on Microsoft Canada, please visit www.microsoft.ca.
SOURCE: Microsoft Canada Inc.
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