Hundreds of employees and their families crowded the front of the new eight-story Fidelity Information Services building in Maitland on Monday.
They were celebrating the grand opening of the building and, in a troubled economy where 11 percent of Central Floridians are unemployed, the fact that they have jobs.
And high-paying ones at that. Annual salaries average between $60,000 and $70,000.
Fidelity Information Services' 30,000 employees nationwide provide technical services such as payment processing, core banking solutions and risk management to more than 14,000 clients in more than 100 countries. The Maitland location serves domestic clients.
The high-tech, high-wage jobs the Jacksonville-based company provides is the reason the state, Orange County and the city of Maitland worked to keep FIS operations here, committing to provide $1.2 million in tax incentives — $120,000 from Maitland — to the company earlier this year.
"This is what it's all about, and it's even more sweet that it's happening in tough economic times," said Maitland Mayor Doug Kinson, who FIS Chief Operating Officer Gary Narcross credits with luring and keeping the company in Maitland.
The company has already provided 60 new jobs since its new 211,000-square-foot building opened in July and that's on top of the 800 employees FIS already had working out of their former offices in Maitland (formerly Metavante Corporation) and Altamonte Springs. It plans on employing a total of 1,100 people by 2013.
"It's refreshing to be adding jobs," said FIS President and Chief Financial Officer Frank Martire. "Central Florida is turning out to be a great hiring market for us with most of our recruits coming from the area."
Although the company sports an Orlando address, Kinson said Maitland will reap the tax benefits. And, in addition to the jobs that will be added, he boasted all the work the 14 months of construction provided locally.
"This has provided construction jobs, professional jobs and every other person who has been involved from beginning to end. It reaches far beyond just who's employed within the building," Kinson said. "This is one of the few major office buildings that has recently been completed in Central Florida."
Now that the building is officially open, the company plans to focus on its employees' happiness. To aid in that, the FIS campus has a fitness center, a walking trail outside, which hugs a large pond, and there are plans to build an on-site cafe with outdoor seating. The building is at 2001 Summit Park Drive in Maitland, across from Electronic Arts Tiburon.
"We are focused on the quality of life of our staff," said Marcia Danzeisen, FIS senior vice president of communications.