CEO Mark Scott explained that the jobs are not typical entry-level IT positions, but rather high-skilled and higher paying Level 1 and Level 2 IT support technician jobs. “If I was to look at the typical employers that would come to the Island they are setting up call centres, they are setting up somebody to answer a script and do three things. That’s definitely not what we do as an organization,” said Scott following Thursday’s announcement. “The salary ranges, I won’t get into the exact numbers today, they are definitely beyond what the expectation would be for a typical call centre job.”
TUC, founded in 2006, employs IT professionals to serve its North American client base from Summerside and its home base outside of Ottawa, Ont. The company, which took over Millennium Care, an IT company located in the city for three years, plans to add another 17 positions in 2014 and a further 15 positions in 2015. “We are in a fast-growing market,” said Scott. “If you think of how we use technology today, even how you, yourself, use technology today and how reliant you are versus five years ago, even three years ago, it’s a growth market.”
He added, “Corporate IT users, they have three or four different devices and they are becoming more and more reliant. You have more devices, you are becoming more reliant on technology — it’s with these organizations where we fit really well. “With the Summerside connection it really gives us that capability to do it on a 24/7 basis as well. We’re really excited.”
The move is being supported by Innovation P.E.I., which is offering a labour rebate of up to $417,000 if the 32 anticipated jobs are created. “This is a good announcement,” said Innovation Minister Allen Roach. “Since coming to Prince Edward Island, TUC has continued to grow its global presence as a provider of information technology solutions to small and medium-sized businesses, to governments and a range of clients. Not only has TUC succeeded in growing its importance as a provide of IT help, it has been a consistent provider of opportunity for people who want to work in the IT industry in Prince Edward Island.”
Roach said the expansion will mean that more of those people can stay on P.E.I. and work in their field rather than have to leave for greener pastures elsewhere. “It will lead to more talented people staying here or moving here to build lives and careers on Prince Edward Island,” added the minister. “We are proud to be supporting this expansion.”
Scott said there could be partnering with Holland College and UPEI when it comes to developing programming to ensure a skilled workforce is available. “There are certifications, there is training, and we are working again with the province on different programs. Holland College and UPEI, definitely there are opportunities for us to work with them to upscale and maybe even develop specific, customized training,” he added. “We are really looking to people who have experience and beyond that working with the colleges and universities with co-op programs and new programs that would be coming out.
“Today’s kids coming out of university are pretty technology savvy and a lot of them don’t feel like living half way across the country in Alberta. We now, with TUC, will be able to be a home for a lot of those highly-skilled people who want work that is really challenging.” As for a move from the company’s current Summerside location, Scott couldn’t say when that would happen, but added the move is necessary.
He did say the company would remain in the western city. “We’ve had some initial conversations and definitely we want to be in a location that speaks to being a technology company. Again, there are definitely some spaces that we looked at that we are interested in,” he said, noting that the Holman Building could be an option. “Because we are a technology company and we want to attract people to feel like they are working in a technology company, a space like that speaks to that brand that we want to position ourselves with within the market.”
Scott added, “At this stage, we’re just in very preliminary on that. Within the next year we hope. It’s early days for that.”