NetApp To Add More Than 400 Jobs In Wichita

By: Parrish Alleman Email
By: Parrish Alleman Email

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UPDATE: Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Fortune 500 company is nearly doubling it's workforce and spending millions of dollars to expand in Wichita.

Thursday, NetApp announced it's bringing hundreds of new high-paying tech jobs to Wichita.

We first told you last week, NetApp was expanding its North Carolina location. Several news outlets there reported the company chose North Carolina over Wichita. The company's vice president now says that was never the case.

The building has been in northeast Wichita for decades but NetApp just bought the company last May. Thursday, the vice president of the company told us even then they were already looking into Wichita to see what more they could do in the city. A little more than a year later, they've decided to make the operation twice the size it is now.

Wichita native Abhilash Jacob started working at the facility as a student intern, before he was hired on full time.

"The best thing about here is the people. I work with awesome team, awesome directors, and awesome management,” Jacob said.

Jacob's team of co-workers is about to get a whole lot bigger. Over the next five years, NetApp will add more than 400 new jobs in Wichita with an average salary of $73,000.

"We can't talk about it enough. We can brag about it all day long and for a long period of time,” Mayor Carl Brewer said at the news conference.

The city's economic director says the announcement is especially brag worthy because NetApp had more than 170 office locations to choose from.

"In the end incentives did play an important role because other locations were offering incentives too and ours had to be competitive. And in the end they were,” Director of Economic Development Allen Bell said.

Wichita offered NetApp a $400,000 cash incentive. Basically they're paying the company a thousand dollars for every job it brings to Wichita.

The company's vice president says Wichita has the main ingredients they were looking for: a big building to expand in, a base of experienced employees, and a large pool of people to hire from with the right skills and experience.

"The thing that was attractive to us is that we saw that we could really hire good people quickly,” Joel Reich, Vice President of NetApp said.

In the first year alone, the office will hire about 115 new people.

Jacob tells us he and everyone else who works there are looking forward to a few hundred more helping hands.

"That's really good we need all the help we can get because we have a lot of projects coming down and I look at our road map and we need all those 400 people for the work coming down,” Jacob said.

Both entry level and experience positions available, click here to see all the available jobs listed on the NetApp website.

UPDATE: Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Kansas Department of Commerce and the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition announced today that NetApp will add more than 400 jobs in Wichita. The expansion will double the company's workforce over the next five years in the Air Capital.

The news comes after a KAKE news report last week that the company plans to add 460 jobs in North Carolina.

NetApp expects to hire people for about 115 of the new jobs in the first year. The new jobs will primarily focus on the areas of product development and customer support. Average salary of new jobs will be $73,000.

The company plans to invest more than $85 million in new machinery and equipment and renovation to accommodate the expanded workforce.

NetApp is a Fortune 500 company with locations in eight states. They are a leading provider of innovative storage and data management solutions will significantly expand its Wichita facility.

KAKE's Parrish Alleman has been following this story. She will have more on KAKE news at 11.

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

North Carolina has reason to celebrate after landing 460 new, high paying jobs. Reports say North Carolina's good fortune came at Wichita's expense.

But city leaders say Wichita could get a second chance to land an expansion project with the same company.

NetApp is a Fortune 500 company with locations in eight states, including here in Wichita. Its North Carolina location just won a huge expansion project but city leaders tell us Wichita isn't out of the running yet and we could see some growth right here too.

“NetApp has agreed to expand their RTP footprint by creating 460 new jobs,” North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue announced at a news conference.

It's great news for people looking for work in North Carolina. The state reportedly won over data management company NetApp with a multimillion dollar incentive package.

Just after the announcement, several news sources reported North Carolina, narrowly beat out one other competitor: Wichita, Kansas.

We asked Wichita’s Director of Economic Development Allen Bell about the NetApp deal. He told us he can't talk about companies that decide not to build in Wichita. But city councilman Pete Meitzner believes Wichita might still have a shot at landing a NetApp expansion.

“NetApp's a really good company and I know they’re looking at a big expansion in the U.S. and we are one of the finalists and I see it as very encouraging, it would be some very good higher tech jobs,” Councilman Pete Meitzner said.

Just to give you an idea of the type of jobs NetApp could bring to the table, of the 460 new jobs North Carolina will get; the average salary is $100,000.

While Allen Bell can't get into specifics about which companies have passed on Wichita, he did tell us it happens all the time because the competition is steep.

“And if you don't have the right kind of sites and you don't have the right kind of incentives to offer, than you get eliminated,” Bell said.

In an attempt to be more competitive, this week the city council passed a revised incentive policy to meet the changing needs of companies looking to expand.

We did try to get bell to spill on whether NetApp is still interested, he wouldn't budge but did say there are some big companies looking our way.

“We hope to be successful with as many of them as possible and this policy will help,” Bell said.

We called both the national and local NetApp branches and so far our calls haven't been returned.

One thing everyone we talked with today told us, is that whenever there's a possible big business deal in the works; everyone stays pretty secretive on the details.

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