Smith Micro to Establish R&D Center in Pittsburgh; Create 230 Jobs!

Governor Edward G. Rendell announced today that Smith Micro – a leading software development and marketing company – will establish a new research and development center in the Pittsburgh region, creating at least 230 jobs, .

The Governor said Smith Micro Software Inc. will open a new research and development center at an undetermined site in southwestern Pennsylvania that will house a data center and other professional operations. The $7 million project will create the new jobs within three years.

“Smith Micro could have chosen to build this research and development center almost anywhere,” said Governor Rendell. “The fact that Smith Micro chose to open its facility here and create more than 230 high-paying jobs in the greater Pittsburgh area is very exciting, and it speaks well of the commonwealth’s economic development efforts and the talented workers in the region.”

Smith Micro develops and markets mobile software products and services and an extensive line of PC software products for business and home markets.  Founded in 1982, the company is headquartered in Aliso Viejo, Calif., and has offices in Europe and Asia.

“Despite the national recession, we must continue to invest in economic development projects like this one that help Pennsylvanians compete and succeed in the high-tech global economy,” said Governor Rendell. “Our investments in quality projects that create jobs and leverage private investment help lay the foundation for strong economic growth as the economy recovers.”

“Pittsburgh is a booming technology city and opening a new research and development center here will not only strategically expand Smith Micro’s global footprint, but will also fuel job growth throughout the region,” said Smith Micro CEO William W. Smith Jr. “Smith Micro was seeking a creative environment with a highly skilled, hardworking talent pool, as well as access to a great university system rich in technology and innovation.  Pittsburgh more than fulfills these requirements and we’re excited to break ground on our new research and development center and expand into another region in the United States.”

The project was coordinated at the state level by the Governor’s Action Team, economic development professionals who work directly with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in the state.

Pennsylvania provided the company with a $1.8 million funding offer for the project from the Department of Community and Economic Development. The offer includes a $1 million opportunity grant, $125,000 in job training assistance, and $696,000 in job creation tax credits. 

“Smith Micro is a home run for our robust information and communications technology sector in the Pittsburgh region. An abundant pool of some of the best-educated tech talent and competitively priced real estate options set Pittsburgh apart. We welcome Smith Micro to our region and are thrilled that it is joining our network of more than 1,600 technology firms that are proud to call Pittsburgh home,” said Dewitt Peart, president of the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, an affiliate of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development. 

The Pittsburgh Regional Alliance is assisting Smith Micro with site selection and provided regional workforce information.

Since January 2003, GAT has successfully completed 1,183 projects statewide.  The projects represent commitments for 128,502 new jobs and 301,119 retained jobs.  The commonwealth has offered more than $2.2 billion in funding to these projects, which will leverage more than $16 billion in additional investment.

Gov. Rendell to Announce Major Local Business-Technology Investment on Wednesday

The Pittsburgh Regional Alliance is hosting Governor Ed Rendell for a news conference at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, September 15, 2010 in Xplorion, located in the lobby of the Regional Enterprise Tower, 425 Sixth Ave. 

The governor will be making a major business investment announcement for the region’s information and communications technology sector.  Significant job creation is anticipated.  The news conference is open to the public, so stop by to welcome the newest addition to our region’s growing network of technology firms.

We can’t wait to find out exactly who!

Action Alert: Show Your Support for Pennsylvania’s Innovation Economy

Yesterday afternoon, the leadership of Pennsylvania’s General Assembly and Governor Ed Rendell announced that a deal had been reached on this year’s budget.  On a positive note,  we appear positioned to have a budget on time this year and the announced deal does not contain the many business tax increases that Governor Rendell proposed earlier this year, which included a proposed $2 billion new tax on information technology companies (computer services tax).

Unfortunately, this year’s budget deal maintains many devastating cuts that occurred last year to key innovation initiatives in Pennsylvania. In particular, last year the state budget process resulted in a nearly 65 percent reduction to the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority and also reduced our state’s research and development tax credit.  To balance this year’s budget, the General Assembly will also leave our major business tax rates significantly higher than those in competitor states.

With a gubernatorial election right around the corner, the Pittsburgh Technology Council will work in the coming months to educate our policy leaders about the many roles that technology businesses play in supporting the growth of the Commonwealth and in reversing the long-standing brain-drain that has besieged southwestern Pennsylvania.

Other issues on our agenda include efforts to improve the business climate in Pennsylvania to bring our major taxes in line with our competitor states, reforming our economic development initiatives to focus primarily on supporting homegrown technology and manufacturing businesses and developing a workforce strategy that will enable our Commonwealth’s technology businesses to access the critical talent needed to fuel their growth.

To help us make this case, please consider contacting your elected official within the next 24 hours to express your support for these issues?  Though this year’s budget deal is close to completion, our elected officials are still in Harrisburg and these issues are still fresh in their minds.

Please consider using this link to immediately contact these officials  and help us generate 1,000 letters in the next 24 hours.