IT firm Infosys will create 2,000 tech jobs in North Carolina over the next few years in a bid to woo the Trump administration that has been critical of outsourcing firms for “unfairly” taking jobs away from the US workers.
In May, the Bengaluru-based firm had announced its commitment to hire 10,000 locals for its US operations in the next two years. The first hub is being set up in Indiana and will hire 2,000 American workers by 2021.
“Infosys will open its next technology and innovation hub in North Carolina and hire 2,000 American workers in the state by 2021,” Infosys said in a statement.
This is the second key milestone in Infosys’ strategy to help drive American innovation and create the next-generation of American innovators, it added.
Infosys, which employs about 2 lakh people globally, will expand its local hiring in the US as it battles visa curbs imposed by the Trump administration that has made sending engineers to the US costly.
The move would also mean increase in labour costs for the company in the US.
The North American market accounted for over 60% of Infosys’ $10.2 billion revenue in the 2016-17 fiscal.
Over the past few weeks, there has been a growing sentiment of protectionism across various markets, including the US, that is seeking to safeguard jobs for locals and raising the bar for foreign workers.
The US had also accused Infosys and its larger rival, Tata Consultancy Services, of “unfairly” cornering the lion’s share of the H-1B work visas by putting extra tickets in the lottery system. Every year, the US grants 65,000 H-1B visas while another 20,000 are set aside for those with US advanced degrees.
Other companies like TCS and Wipro have also announced similar moves of increasing local hires.
Infosys said the first 500 of the 2,000 North Carolina workers will be appointed by the end of two years, with the remainder to be hired in the state by 2021.
“These new hires will include recent graduates from the state’s prestigious network of colleges, universities and community colleges, as well as local professionals,” it said.
North Carolina is also contributing a $3 million grant towards upskilling these workers.
“North Carolina was a clear partner for us, and we are really excited to announce one of the largest jobs commitments ever in North Carolina state history,” Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka said.
The North Carolina Technology and Innovation Hub will focus on areas like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, user experience, emerging digital technologies, cloud and big data.
It will also facilitate greater collaboration and advancement in key North Carolinian industries like financial services, information technology, life sciences, clean technology, advanced manufacturing and others.