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GPS firm Garmin to open R&D facility in Triangle

Posted January 12, 2010

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— Satellite navigation device maker Garmin International will open a research and development facility in the Triangle for wireless devices, the company announced Tuesday.

Initial plans are to hire up to 40 engineers and to open the facility as soon as possible, company spokesman Ted Gartner said.

“The wireless industry is moving very quickly and it behooves us to get a work force in place and running as soon as possible,” Gartner told Local Tech Wire and WRAL.com. “We are highly motivated to get up and running as fast as possible.”

In order to expedite the hiring process, Gartner will host a job fair on Thursday.

However, Gartner said Garmin is still finalizing where the R&D facility will be located.

“At this point we haven’t announced anything,” Gartner said of an office location. “We are down to a final handful of facilities.”

The lab will focus on wireless and mobile products. Garmin offers a wide variety of navigation devices and last fall launched its own navigation-equipped smart phone called the Nuvifone.

Garmin is not receiving any tax incentives or grants from state or local governments, according to Gartner.

“We have not sought any nor have we received any,” Gartner said about incentives. “We came to the Raleigh-Durham area because of the quality and quantity of the engineers in the area.

“That comes from not only the higher education institutions as well as companies in the area but we also are aware of cutbacks and layoffs in that area,” he added.

Research In Motion, the Canada-based manufacturer of the BlackBerry mobile device, also is going to open a Triangle-area facility. The two announcements help offset somewhat the recent loss of Sony Ericsson’s North American headquarters and several hundred jobs.

Garmin wants to hire engineers who “are experienced wireless development, wireless software, and handset certification engineers.”

“We are excited to expand our resources through the opening of a wireless technology center in the Raleigh-Durham area,” said Cliff Pemble, Garmin’s chief operating officer, in the announcement. “In light of the growth opportunities for wireless products, we believe that this expansion is a critical step in expanding our ability to launch new wireless devices to markets around the world.”

Garmin noted the Triangle “area offers a large pool of highly-skilled engineering talent, thanks to the area’s many excellent universities and high-tech companies.”

It is planning a career forum on Jan. 14 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Hilton Raleigh-Durham Airport.

24 Comments

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  • MomOfTwins Jan 14, 2010

    The RIM job fair already happened.

  • baconricky Jan 13, 2010

    I'll be waiting for the RIM Job Fair.

  • Nunya123 Jan 13, 2010

    OakRapp - great post.

  • jbyrd Jan 13, 2010

    Quote pbjbeach: "WELL SPIN THIS ONE WHY IS IT THAT IT HAS BEEN THIS AWAY FOR YEARS ON TOP OF YEARS THAT ANYTIME SOME BIG NEW COPORATION GET READY TO LOCATE IN NORTH CAROLINA THAT IT ALWAYS ENDS UP LOCATING SOME WHERE WEST OF I-95 an that theres is hardly ever any meanful industry that are looking to locate in the eastern part of N.C DO YOU SUPPOSE THAT IT JUST MIGHT BE POLITICALY MOVATIED"

    You need to talk to Senator Basnite about this one. He is THE most powerful polotitian in the state and controls every decision made in our fair state. But it seems his only concerns are keeping the gill netters and shrimp trawlers going that are decimating our PUBLIC saltwater resources just so a few hundred "traditional" fishermen can continue to live at a poverty level that THEY choose.

  • Mean Old Mom Jan 12, 2010

    40 jobs is better than nothing. Too bad it wasn't 400 with so many unemployed.

  • JoCoLoco Jan 12, 2010

    Nothing negative about this! I say WooHoo!! Imagine that.... a company whose only incentive to locate here was the quality of the workforce. If it wasn't for the fact that I have no desire to own one of those, I might have been inclined to purchase one- just 'cause that's cool!

  • PC is for Losers Jan 12, 2010

    Cool! Maybe they can find some time to also set up a training space and hire some training experts to teach all the people using those things for navigation to PULL OVER instead of stopping in the middle of the road and getting in my way while they figure it out.

  • OakRapp Jan 12, 2010

    OK, for all of you who are complaining because there aren't enough negative comments - They're moving here to be close to Blackwater/Xe to develop a new generation of recon satellites and tracking devices to make it easier the black helicopters locate all the conservatives/liberals/christians/muslims/group of your choice when the gummint finally decides to move 'em all to Gitmo. It's all a plot by the combined Kennedy and Bush clans.

    Wow, I think I've finally come up with a post worthy of the standard of discourse on GOLO.

  • Kilroy Jan 12, 2010

    "Does this mean I can take my Nuvi 775T over to the Park and find out why it's not giving me the displays I paid $400 for?"

    Nope...the Garmin-RTP site will be developing wireless devices..ie phones..like the Garmin Nuvifone.

  • gandalla Jan 12, 2010

    I'm very suprised that no one is come on here and had anything really negative to say about this.

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