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Alpharetta corporate relocations to watch

Only a day after I teased that a deal was in the works, Governor Nathan Deal announced the Fiserv relocation to Alpharetta. It’s clearly the biggest economic development story the city has seen in years. But there may be others not far down the road. Here are two to keep your eyes on.

NCR

NCRIn the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s story on Fiserv, technology writer Urvaksh Karkaria mentioned this firm. They may be willing to leave their Gwinnett digs for a new home in Alpharetta.

NCR, who relocated their corporate headquarters to Duluth in 2009, manufactures ATMs, cash registers and kiosks. In July of 2011 they acquired Alpharetta-based Radiant Systems. Radiant makes many of the cash registers you see in restaurants. They occupy a building in the Brookside area of Alpharetta just off Old Milton Parkway.

Following the Radiant acquisition, fears were that NCR would close the old Radiant office and consolidate employees in Duluth. The Business Chronicle story suggests the opposite may be true.

It would be huge for Alpharetta to steal two large corporate residents from Gwinnett County in a short period of time. Additionally, when combined with the Fiserv deal, it would bring office vacancy rates down to levels not seen in years. The result could mean a rebirth in office construction in Alpharetta.

State Farm

But on the flip side, might Johns Creek lose this insurance giant?

State Farm has purchased 17 acres of land near the Dunwoody MARTA station. The plan is to have as many as 8,000 employees at a transit-oriented development. It’s a direction the company is taking nation-wide.

Will they close their office in Johns Creek? The company has operated a large corporate campus here for as long as this writer can remember.

Is a deal in the works for the Cobalt Center?

Alpharetta may be close to landing a massive corporate relocation deal that could bring hundreds of high-paying technology jobs. Recent activity suggests the location would be the Cobalt Center, a vacant corporate campus just off Windward on Westside Parkway and Cumming Street.

Cobalt.picBuilt in 2001, Cobalt is home to two six-story buildings totaling nearly 400,000 square feet with a connected atrium. Nortel Networks and Cingular Wireless once called this place home. In 2006 Cingular became AT&T Wireless however their name remains on some of the property’s signage to this day. About three years ago AT&T Wireless consolidated offices in Atlanta, leaving the Cobalt Center completely vacant. It’s since remained the largest vacant space in the city.

The facility was then purchased by Chicago-based investment firm M & J Wilkow for $20.1 million. Their specialty is recruiting large corporate tenants. Past successes include a relocation deal with Blue Cross Blue Shield in Chicago for a similar property. The Cobalt Center is their only venture in the southeast.

Wilkow’s investment almost paid off last year with General Motors. Cobalt Center was narrowly edged out by UPS’s former digs in Roswell.

Unfortunately there’s no prize for second place in the corporate relocation game. The loss of GM was a bitter pill for Alpharetta to swallow, especially considering that the business went to neighboring Roswell. Since then Alpharetta has doubled down on the economic incentives for Cobalt. Last year the site was granted an opportunity zone designation. This means a future tenant could gain tax benefits of up to $3,500 per job created for five years. The lack of this incentive was a major contributor to losing the GM deal.

Recently a flurry of activity at City Hall suggests that interest may again be brewing at the site. This evening Alpharetta’s Development Authority will meet to approve a bond inducement application. The request is for an undisclosed corporate relocation project of an existing office building on Windward.

And at almost the same time today Alpharetta’s Planning Commission will meet to consider a master plan change for the Cobalt property. The city’s website, known for providing supporting documents for such agenda items, is unusually lacking this time. But the requested change calls for adding a four-story parking deck to the Cobalt Center and a new entry point along Cumming Street.

And in perhaps one last-ditch effort to sweeten a deal, Alpharetta’s Council on Monday approved a small corporate relocation incentive. The program would waive permit and inspection fees for large tenant buildouts at facilities like the Cobalt Center.

A deal at the Cobalt Center would be the economic story of the year for Alpharetta, a serious shot of adrenaline for this area. Keep your fingers crossed.

Alpharetta Jobs – November 2012

Largest Employers  
Verizon 120
ADP 79
McKesson 75
Radiant/NCR 59
LexisNexis 53
Equifax 50
Siemens 48
Comcast 17
Ryder 15
AIG 13
E-Trade 12
UPS 10
HP 5
Alcatel-Lucent 0
COX 0

Requests come in from time to time for me to dust off the old jobs report column. This used to be a monthly feature here on Roots with the numbers trended. Unfortunately in 2012 your blogger hasn’t had the time to tabulate these stats.

How does this report work? I query the career websites of scores of Alpharetta-area employers and tally up the number of openings. This report was gathered on November 13th. All attempts are made to maintain accuracy but errors are possible.

What do the numbers show? There are over 800 advertised positions, mainly in information technology, healthcare and insurance. The degree to which employers are filling these positions is tough to measure. These could be open requisitions that are just sitting out there. Or on the other hand, firms may have interviews scheduled all day to fill these spots.

But what we can see is trends. For example, Windward Parkway’s HP has only five openings, down from a high of close to 150 last year. On the other hand, telecom hiring at Verizon (in both their residential and wireless businesses) has grown substantially over this time last year.

Alpharetta’s relatively low employment numbers might explain the results in this report. This area continues to enjoy the state’s lowest unemployment rates.

On November 1st RedPrairie announced the $1.9 billion acquisition of Scottsdale, Arizona-based JDA. The combined company will be the largest pure-play supply chain management software shop in the nation.

Mid-sized Employers  
Infor 41
MedAssets 32
Verint Systems 32
RedPrairie 26
Scientific Games 23
Traveners Insurance 17
AT&T 12
ACE American Insurnace 11
Marketsource 9
VeriFone 9
Total System Services 8
Colorox 8
IPSwitch 8
ISTA North America 8
Landis+Gyr 7
Hanjin Shipping 6
Colonial Pipeline 4
Coca-Cola Refreshments 3
Leaseplan USA 3
LaFarge 3
Crown Castle 3
Amdocs 3
Honda 3
Metlife 2
Ciena 2
Phillips 2
Microsoft 2
AdvancED 2
ThyssenKrupp 2
Research in Motion 1
Promethean 1
Neehan Paper 1
Outcomes Health 0
New York Life 0
GXS/Inovis 0
Farmers Insurance 0

What gives politicians and business leaders angst is the possibility of a firm leaving Alpharetta after a large merger like this. Cost savings are certainly on the minds of executives and office consolidation is an easy way to do that. Might the Prairie leave their digs on Brookside Parkway for sunny Arizona, taking hundreds of well-paid cubicle dwellers with them?

We had the same conversation about RedPrairie’s next door neighbor, Radiant. In July 2011 Gwinnett County-based NCR purchased Radiant. As of now, their Alpharetta office is still open and seeking 59 new employees. There’s a lot that goes into a corporate relocation and they take time. But if RedPrairie and Radiant both leave Alpharetta, Brookside Parkway could become the equivalent of a cubicle ghost town.

But back to the jobs report. Is this information useful and relevant to the business and IT community of Alpharetta? I occasionally get emails regarding these stats. The Revue and News continues to ask to publish them (look in next week’s paper). But as a reader of my blog, do you find them interesting and curious, or a waste of valuable space in the internet pipes? Let me know!

Alpharetta Jobs – March 2011

Approximately quarterly the career websites of Alpharetta’s largest employers are queried. The number of jobs advertised are tallied and trended against data going back over two years. The results are published to the Roots in Alpharetta blog and used by permission in the Appen Newspapers. These numbers were tabulated on March 26th and 27th. All attempts were made to maintain accuracy but some errors are possible.

I’ve run this column monthly for the past two years but am transitioning to a quarterly frequency.

The overall number of openings remains strong at over 700 advertised. 2011 saw strong hiring at HP and Siemens as they ramped up new projects in Alpharetta. The current number of openings at these two companies is down, possibly indicating that their staffing shortages are coming to an end.

Scientific Games in south Forsyth shows 41 openings, the most since I’ve tracked the company. Mega Millions is setting record payouts. Coincidence? Other companies showing an increase in job openings include software shops RedPrairie and Infor in Milton.

Largest Employers in Alpharetta - March 2012

Company Number of Jobs
McKesson 166
LexisNexis/Choicepoint 40
ADP 51
E-Trade 11
Equifax 45
AT&T 8
Verizon 58
NCR/Radiant 41
HP 12
Alcatel-Lucent 1
UPS 20
Siemens 65
Traveler's 21
T-SYS 6
Metlife 3
Total 548

Mid-Sized Employers in Alpharetta - March 2012

Company Number of Jobs
Research in Motion 8
Ciena 10
RedPrairie 24
Exide Technologies not available
Ryder 20
Phillips 9
Outcomes Health 5
New York Life 0
GXS/Inovis 2
Infor 19
Hanjin Shipping 4
Scientific Games 41
VeriFone 7
AIG 2
Farmer's Insurance 5
LaFarge 2
Crown Castle 8
Amdocs 1
Total 166

Photo credit: Kevin Harber (creative commons)

Alpharetta Jobs – November 2011

Around the middle of each month the career websites of Alpharetta’s largest employers are queried. The number of jobs advertised are tallied and trended month-to-month. The results are published to the Roots in Alpharetta blog and used by permission in the Appen Newspapers. This month’s numbers were tabulated on November 14th. All attempts were made to maintain accuracy but some errors are possible.

I usually fill this space by commenting on trends month-to-month. That won’t be possible as I missed printing this column in October. My apologies. However it appears that the number of advertised positions in my list of companies is holding steady at over 700. McKesson, Siemens, HP and ADP all have the most cubicles to fill. Dust off your resume!

Largest Employers in Alpharetta - November 2011

Company Number of Jobs
McKesson 150
LexisNexis/Choicepoint 22
ADP 67
E-Trade 31
Equifax 48
AT&T 5
Verizon 52
Radiant 21
HP 61
Alcatel-Lucent 1
UPS 11
Siemens 106
Traveler's 12
T-SYS 18
Metlife 9
Total 614

Mid-Sized Employers in Alpharetta - November 2011

Company Number of Jobs
Research in Motion 6
Ciena 7
RedPrairie 13
Exide Technologies not available
Ryder 8
Phillips 20
Outcomes Health 5
New York Life 0
GXS/Inovis 4
Infor 16
Hanjin Shipping 3
Scientific Games 22
VeriFone 5
AIG 4
Farmer's Insurance 0
LaFarge 3
Crown Castle 0
Amdocs 4
Total 116

Photo Credit: bjmccray (creative commons)

Alpharetta Jobs – September 2011

Around the middle of each month the career websites of Alpharetta’s largest employers are queried. The number of jobs advertised are tallied and trended month-to-month. The results are published to the Roots in Alpharetta blog and used by permission in the Appen Newspapers. This month’s numbers were tabulated on September 16th. All attempts were made to maintain accuracy but some errors are possible.

Those looking for work in the medical or information technology field need to be knocking on doors at Marconi Drive. McKesson has nearly doubled their number of job openings from this time last month. At 164 positions, they have the most job openings of any firm in Alpharetta.

Siemen’s continues to advertise over one hundred openings in Alpharetta. HP, Equifax, Scientific Games and Ciena have all added to their job openings from last month. UPS, AT&T, Verizon and RedPrairie reduced openings.

Largest Employers in Alpharetta - September 2011

Company Number of Jobs
McKesson 164
LexisNexis/Choicepoint 47
ADP 49
E-Trade 36
Equifax 49
AT&T 9
Verizon 33
Radiant 15
HP 47
Alcatel-Lucent 1
UPS 9
Siemens 107
Traveler's 15
T-SYS 11
Metlife 7
Total 599

Mid-Sized Employers in Alpharetta - September 2011

Company Number of Jobs
Research in Motion 3
Ciena 12
RedPrairie 5
Exide Technologies not available
Ryder 9
Phillips 23
Outcomes Health 4
New York Life 1
GXS/Inovis 4
Infor 14
Hanjin Shipping 1
Scientific Games 22
VeriFone 4
AIG 9
Farmer's Insurance 0
LaFarge 7
Crown Castle 0
Amdocs 5
Total 118

Alpharetta Jobs – August 2011

Around the middle of each month the career websites of Alpharetta’s largest employers are queried. The number of jobs advertised are tallied and trended month-to-month. The results are published to the Roots in Alpharetta blog and used by permission in the Appen Newspapers. This month’s numbers were tabulated on August 15th. All attempts were made to maintain accuracy but some errors are possible.

Overall numbers are flat compares to this time in July. Siemens tops the list with over 100 jobs posted to their career site. On the flip side, HP has reduced their openings to 26. This is down from over 100 at the end of last year. Alpharetta employers adding openings this month include Phillips, Equifax and AT&T.

This month saw the opening of a small business incubator. The Alpharetta Accelerator will give entrepreneurs a jump start, providing office space and access to capital. Perhaps today’s fledgling tech start-up will one day join the Fortune 500 companies on this list!

Largest Employers in Alpharetta - August 2011

Company Number of Jobs
McKesson 87
LexisNexis/Choicepoint 49
ADP 52
E-Trade 38
Equifax 32
AT&T 13
Verizon 57
Radiant 23
HP 26
Alcatel-Lucent 1
UPS 15
Siemens 104
Traveler's 10
T-SYS 19
Metlife 9
Total 535

Mid-Sized Employers in Alpharetta - August 2011

Company Number of Jobs
Research in Motion 5
Ciena 7
RedPrairie 30
Exide Technologies not available
Ryder 11
Phillips 27
Outcomes Health 4
New York Life 1
GXS/Inovis 5
Infor 13
Hanjin Shipping 1
Scientific Games 13
VeriFone 7
AIG 9
Farmer's Insurance 0
LaFarge 5
Crown Castle 0
Total 138

Alpharetta Jobs – July 2011

Around the middle of each month the career websites of Alpharetta’s largest employers are queried. The number of jobs advertised are tallied and trended month-to-month. The results are published to the Roots in Alpharetta blog and used by permission in the Appen Newspapers. This month’s numbers were tabulated on July 18th. All attempts were made to maintain accuracy but some errors are possible.

Siemens added more job openings than any other large employer in Alpharetta with 75 listed on their website. Other companies with gains were T-SYS, Traveler’s, Verizon and Red Prairie.

Governor Nathan Deal visited McKesson recently to speak about Georgia’s leadership in technology. Also in the news is the announcement from Radiant that they will be acquired by NCR for $1.2 billion in cash. It’ll be interested to see if Gwinnett-based NCR consolidates offices after the acquisition. Radiant has large offices in Alpharetta and south Forsyth.

Largest Employers in Alpharetta - July 2011

Company Number of Jobs
McKesson 95
LexisNexis/Choicepoint 49
ADP 57
E-Trade 49
Equifax 23
AT&T 6
Verizon 70
Radiant 22
HP 49
Alcatel-Lucent 1
UPS 10
Siemens 75
Traveler's 12
T-SYS 24
Total 542

Mid-Sized Employers in Alpharetta - July 2011

Company Number of Jobs
Research in Motion 6
Ciena 6
RedPrairie 43
Exide Technologies not available
Ryder 16
Phillips 13
Outcomes Health 0
New York Life 1
GXS/Inovis 6
Infor 13
Hanjin Shipping 1
Scientific Games 12
VeriFone 3
AIG 6
Farmer's Insurance 0
LaFarge 5
Crown Castle 1
Total 132

Alpharetta Jobs – June 2011

Around the middle of each month the career websites of Alpharetta’s largest employers are queried. The number of jobs advertised are tallied and trended month-to-month. The results are published to the Roots in Alpharetta blog and used by permission in the Appen Newspapers. This month’s numbers were tabulated on June 13th and 14th. All attempts were made to maintain accuracy but some errors are possible.

An analysis of June’s job openings shows that Alpharetta continues to hold at just over 700 openings. McKesson, LexisNexis and Verizon all made small increases to their job openings over this time in May.

Making news this month is an announcement from Agilysys. The software firm will move their headquarters from Ohio to Alpharetta, following the continuing trend of high-tech companies to transfer jobs here.

Largest Employers in Alpharetta - June 2011

Company Number of Jobs
McKesson 97
LexisNexis/Choicepoint 58
ADP 71
E-Trade 42
Equifax 27
AT&T 16
Verizon 61
Radiant 24
HP 61
Alcatel-Lucent 0
UPS 6
Siemens 60
Traveler's 6
T-SYS 16
Total 545

Mid-Sized Employers in Alpharetta - June 2011

Company Number of Jobs
Research in Motion 21
Ciena 10
RedPrairie 33
Exide Technologies 10
Ryder 18
Phillips 9
Outcomes Health 0
New York Life 1
GXS/Inovis 6
Infor 15
Hanjin Shipping 3
Scientific Games 13
VeriFone 7
AIG 10
Farmer's Insurance 1
LaFarge 7
Crown Castle 1
Total 165

Alpharetta Jobs – May 2011

Around the middle of each month I survey the career websites of Alpharetta’s biggest employers. I tabulate the numbers in this monthly column and trend the figures month-to-month. The goal is to create a barometer of hiring trends in Alpharetta.

This month saw overall numbers remain close to April’s figures with 730 openings. ADP increased their openings to 85, the most I’ve seen since I started tracking them a year and a half ago. E-Trade, Verizon, and Research in Motion also added openings this month. If you’re looking for work in the information technology field, I’d be knocking on these doors.

I cannot measure from where Alpharetta’s employers are hiring. It is my general sense that many openings are being filled internally or with formerly downsized employees. That’s just a hunch based on my experience and from talking to friends who work for some of these companies. I’d be interested to hear from people testing Alpharetta’s job market. Are you getting responses from your resume?

Largest Employers in Alpharetta - May 2011

Company Number of Jobs
McKesson 89
LexisNexis/Choicepoint 49
ADP 85
E-Trade 47
Equifax 23
AT&T 7
Verizon 48
Radiant 28
HP 87
Alcatel-Lucent 1
UPS 12
Siemens 60
Traveler's 4
T-SYS 12
Total 552

Mid-Sized Employers in Alpharetta - May 2011

Company Number of Jobs
Research in Motion 38
Ciena 18
RedPrairie 30
Exide Technologies 10
Ryder 26
Phillips 4
Outcomes Health 0
New York Life 2
GXS/Inovis 7
Infor 13
Hanjin Shipping 3
Scientific Games 6
VeriFone 6
AIG 7
Farmer's Insurance 0
LaFarge 7
Crown Castle 1
Total 178

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