It is universally considered good practice to reduce speed prior to an I-35 exit and – manners aside – is well-received by fellow commuters. Upon entering the Parmer Lane feeder, followed with a quick turn east to Center Ridge Drive, an Austin traveler will find themselves in a sea of red-brick structures wrapped in a vast and faceless industrial park. The standard rows of parking, employees running to and from work, attentive security guards, and a busier-than-average bus terminal signifies life breathing into this busy area.
Two things catch the eye of a curious pilgrim: first, the letters HID prominently stand out. These markings serve as an anomaly from adjacent and standardized buildings, an industrialized birthmark signifying something unique. And second – even more important – the level of security this 200,000-square-foot office presents reveals a seriousness that tells any passerby to tread lightly, have your ID ready for the pleasant security guard. A thorough review of any visitor is both expected and welcomed: behind these walls and varying levels of control is a tightly run operation that handles data for Homeland Security, Immigrations and Custom Enforcement, and top-level data protections for numerous Fortune 500 companies.
HID's 2-Year Search and 16-City Examination Leads to Austin
Five years ago, HID Global was spread hazardously thin across four U.S. cities, choked with escalating government regulations, and held the desire to efficiently consolidate operations. The security-tech company was looking to turn a corner and find a new path to success. Relocation proved a lengthy and thorough process. Numerous factors and a great deal of time were invested in their search. HID considered an area's talent, the cost of doing business, and opportunity for future growth. Incentives from the City of Austin also played a role. “The decision was made after two years of discussions,” said Jason Bohrer, Vice President of Global Operations. He added that HID evaluated 16 different cities before selecting Austin, which became the recipient of their $50 million capital investment.
A leading voice in the effort to earn HID's interest was Opportunity Austin. "The site selection process is not easy, it's not something that companies do every day," commented Dave Stewart, Senior Director of Operations. "Opportunity Austin was amazing." He continues: "Even with all the great things that Austin had to offer, I'm not sure that we would be here today if it wasn't for the partnership that we had with Opportunity Austin."
Opportunity, Job Creation, and Surpassing Expectations
Along with a major capital investment, HID created a wide-spectrum of jobs in Austin. HID initially committed to hiring 276 Austinites a few years ago, but today that number has grown to 364 employees, or about 31 percent higher than expected, and includes 122 mid-skilled level positions that are vital to Austin’s economy. In addition, the estimated average salary for an HID employee is around $49,743, markedly above the average family median income ($39,200) in Austin City Council District 7, an area that stretches from downtown at 45th Street north to Howard Lane, encircling parts of MoPac along the way. (Data provided by HID Global)
|Capital Investment||Jobs Created||Mid-Skilled Jobs||Average Salary|
Giving Back To Our Community
In addition to producing cutting-edge technology, HID Global makes it part of their corporate mission to give back to the community.
Aziza Faruqi, Global Agile Administrator, leads a team of HID Global employees every week to provide food to the homeless through the outreach program Meals on Wheels. “HID Global and our employees are in a very strong position to give back,” she said. “We have so many valuable skills and assets to offer our neighbors.”
Aziza also leads a women’s group in Austin on her own time that has no shortage of ideas for how to help the community. From organizing fundraisers for the international charity Humanity First to adopting a local women’s shelter in the heart of Austin, Aziza and her fellow volunteers are tirelessly donating their time. “We all have a role to play in our community,” said Aziza. “Sometimes we are receiving kindness and sometimes we are giving. If I’m in a position to help someone else, I don’t hesitate to help.”
Behind the steel buildings and glass windows of a city's skyline are human stories about people working to provide for families, give back to neighbors, and trying to improve communities. HID Global stands as an example of not only economic success but also helping to lift our city and its people to a better place. Opportunity Austin is pleased to be part of their journey and is committed to bringing more growth, jobs, and development to our city. Just as important, we pledge to keep Austin affordable, a place where families can afford to live and companies continue to locate, invest, and grow.
Greater Austin Chamber
The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce focuses on how the Austin region works. We serve as the voice of business for our member organizations and their employees throughout Central Texas. Our mission is to provide leadership that facilitates the creation of a prosperous regional economy and effective advocacy for members.