FIRST LOOK: SAIC holds open house, sets sights on recruiting
By Amye Anderson
UCBJ Managing Editor
COOKEVILLE – Local government officials and business leaders were able to get a first-hand look of SAIC (Science Applications International Corp.), one of the newest companies to call the city home, during an open house event Monday evening.
The facility, located in the heart of the city’s historic Westside, on the third floor of the Regions Bank building – in a space leased directly from Tennessee Tech University, first announced plans to move to the city in May.
“I just want to say (this) wouldn’t have been possible without all the support we had from the community,” said Tom Eldridge, SAIC’s Senior Vice President of Government Affairs. “We came looking for the right location and we feel like we absolutely found it here in Cookeville. (I) can’t tell you how supportive they’ve been; from Tennessee Tech and President (Phil) Oldham, the Foundation … all of the local community leaders.
“It’s been a partnership,” Eldridge continued. “It’s been the joining-in of a shared vision for this space and you’re seeing the results here today; and, of course, we’re just beginning.”
Named the Technology Integration Gateway, and the company’s first such center, the facility plans to add a total of 300 information technology (IT) professionals to its roster over the next three to five years; expanding SAIC’s footprint in Tennessee to 900, further supporting economic development.
“We look at this as an enterprise asset for our company; that is helping us move toward a new way of delivering capabilities to our customers,” Eldridge said.
Working alongside Tennessee Tech and the state, SAIC hopes to further grow the local 21st century workforce to better meet the needs of their client base.
To date, company has already hired 36 individuals to work at the facility and is actively recruiting for at least 11 additional spots. As many as 450 people within the local community have expressed active interest in working for SAIC, Eldridge said.
“Tennessee Tech University became the number one school we recruited from this year,” Eldridge added. “We hired, I want to say, 23 people from Tennessee Tech this year. We were able to meet the demand for talent here locally.
“If people are from this area, they love this area – for good reason – and want to stay in this area, they can,” he said. “And, they can have great, high-tech jobs working at our Gateway.”
The Technology Integration Gateway offers a wide range of technology jobs, including roles in information technology services, computer programming, engineering and software development. In addition, the Cookeville location provides cloud, cyber security and data science expertise to both government and commercial SAIC customers.