AllianceSTL, along with our many partners, have been celebrating the recent announcement that Accenture Federal Services (AFS) selected St. Louis as the location for an Advanced Technology Center. The center will create 1,400 new, high-paying technology jobs over the next five years. Economic modeling suggests the overall impact will be closer to 2,800 jobs total.
I’ve worked in economic development for many years, and in St. Louis since 2004. Announcements like this are rare, and I cannot think of a new business attraction project this big during my time here. St. Louisans should be very proud of the collaboration that led to this success, allowing us to say that AFS is now too, STLMade.
Though many factors went into AFS’ decision, it ultimately revolved around one primary variable – talent, and the diversification of risk related to both its sourcing and cost. In other words, could we demonstrate that the pipeline for technical talent is sufficiently broad and deep to not only meet their current needs, but also sustain them for years to come?
This is when it’s helpful to be a top 20 metro with tremendous higher education institutions within the region. Our effective reach extends 250 miles and includes a combined enrollment of more than 900,000 college students in four-year institutions. Two proximate military bases have about 2,600 exits per year providing another steady stream of qualified talent to the metro. Accenture also has a robust IT apprenticeship program active in the St. Louis Promise Zone to help with skills development, representing another input into the talent pipeline.
Those hired to work for AFS in St. Louis will apply digital, cloud, automation, artificial intelligence and cyber technologies to help federal clients modernize how they operate their business, support their workforce and deliver their mission. They will join an existing IT workforce in St. Louis of more than 50,000, 14% higher than the national average.
John Goodman, AFS CEO, said, “The region’s skilled talent, vibrant technology ecosystem and strong commitment to collaboration between government, civic, business, academic and community partners make St. Louis the ideal location for our new Advanced Technology Center.” Couldn’t have said it better myself. Welcome to St. Louis, John, and all your colleagues at AFS.
Here’s a brief clip of the recent announcement.