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August 15, 2023 | Shannon Smith

Global IT company CGI opens new center in Knoxville

CGI aims to employ 300 people at its office in the Riverview Tower in downtown Knoxville by the end of 2026.

Canadian-based global IT services company CGI now has a new location in East Tennessee.

State and local leaders in Knoxville gathered on the 10th floor of the Riverview Tower downtown to celebrate the grand opening of CGI’s newest U.S. onshore delivery center, an expansion of its Knoxville presence that meets the growing demand for IT services, creates a new hub for the area’s growing tech community, and expands a dynamic ecosystem for the delivery of innovative IT services and solutions to government and commercial clients in Tennessee, across the country and around the world.

“Knoxville has a very unique opportunity here with TVA, Oak Ridge National Lab, and the University of Tennessee Research Park,” said CGI Knoxville Center Director Lori Ortega. “This community has so much going on, there is so much innovation already here, and we really think that there’s an opportunity to partner with all of these groups and create new solutions.”

CGI leaders were joined by U.S. Representative Tim Burchett, Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon, Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs, and Commissioner Stuart McWhorter of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development for a ribbon cutting Tuesday.

“We are thrilled that CGI continues to invest here in our great city and sees the value of our workforce,” said Kincannon. “This expansion goes hand-in-hand with our continued efforts to attract and retain young professionals here in Knoxville.”

Since 2021, CGI has employed more than 100 professionals in Knoxville who currently serve clients in the financial services, retail, healthcare, life sciences, and government sectors. Tike Goddard, a recruiter hired in April 2021, was the first.

“I was the first hire for the Knoxville center before it existed. I’ve gotten to see it go from this little seed of an idea into this, and so it’s awesome,” he said. “This is the culmination of many years of work.”

By 2026, CGI plans to create 300 high-quality jobs that will help support the growing client digital transformation demand.

“We’re really excited to be here to partner with this great ecosystem and have a pipeline for students to come and get tech jobs,” said Ortega. “We really do a lot of work with our global network, and then we embed ourselves locally into our communities.”

Ortega said current work coming out of the Knoxville center is having impacts across the globe. Team members are, among many other things, protecting federal and state governments from cyber security threats, using cloud technology to enable COVID relief dollars from the CARES Act to reach people in need, and modernizing the way our armed forces manage supply chain challenges and working with global thought leaders on sustainable supply chain communities of interest

Since 2021, CGI has partnered with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville to engage students for internships and research projects across interdisciplinary programs in colleges such as the Haslam College of Business and the Tickle College of Engineering. CGI also supports regional workforce development and tech entrepreneurship through partnerships with the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center, innov865 Alliance, TechStars, and the Knoxville Technology Council. There are also plans to partner with Muse Knoxville and L&N STEM Academy so students as young as five can start learning about STEM career options from a tech company itself.

“We want to embrace all of the tech talent that’s in the community by working with all these partners to create a tech hub right here in Knoxville,” said Ortega.

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