HID Global, known for manufacturing secure identity solutions, opened its new world headquarters Jan. 13 in North Austin.
The 250,000-square-foot facility is located at 611 Center Ridge Drive, which is east of I-35 between Howard and Parmer lanes, and sits on 22 acres. HID Global initially intended the facility to be its new North American Operations Center, but the company decided to relocate its headquarters from Irvine, Calif.
Travis County Commissioner Ron Davis said this is a win-win situation for the company and the county.
"We have tried to encourage more economic development to come more east," he said.
Davis is also supportive of the 300 new jobs that the company will create at the facility. These jobs span numerous career fields from the executive level to production and across the pay scale, said Kimberle Marquardt, director of human resources for HID Global. The company has already hired 50 employees from the Austin area, and hiring will continue during the next two years, she said.
"Right now we're focusing on some of our key leadership positions," Marquardt said. "Our production activities—just because we've opened the door—they haven't officially started yet. By having those leadership roles in place, we'll be able to quickly fill our production jobs."
Davis said offering jobs on the lower-end of the pay scale will benefit the community, which is thirsty for jobs.
"There's an opportunity to make a big dent into those particular persons that sometimes get left out of the equation when it comes to employment opportunities," he said. "Those are persons at the lower tier. The high-tier—the engineers and others—they kind of suck up everything. This is a unique opportunity."
Travis County approved an incentive agreement with HID Global to rebate an estimated $745,000 in property taxes in a 10-year period provided that the company meets employment and wage thresholds. The city of Austin approved a similar agreement to rebate $920,576 in property taxes.
HID Global will also receive $1.9 million from the Texas Enterprise Fund, designed to create new jobs. The company also has invested about $50 million at the new Austin facility.
HID Global technology includes keycards used to access buildings and other authentication products to allow secure access to networks. The company also makes products that would allow agencies and companies to print their own ID cards.
Congressman Michael McCaul, R-District 10, said the federal government needs to look more toward the private sector for secure identity solutions.
"That's what I'm trying to do as chairman of homeland security," he said. "This company now provides 70 percent of the identifications for all federal agencies. It also provides the identification cards for green cards."
HID Global President and CEO Denis Hbert said that because Texas is a border state, the company understands the need for government policies to address border security and that employees are happy to share their expertise with members of Congress and the Texas Legislature.
"This state-of-the-art facility epitomizes the ability of the private sector to produce secure identity credentials and other security products to help ensure the security of our nation," he said.