GE plans to add 200 new jobs in Henrico

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) – One of the world's most famous companies has a plan to jolt the local economy.

General Electric is hiring in Henrico. Wednesday, the company announced plans to create an information technology center in the Innsbrook area. GE says these will be high-caliber, high paying jobs for people who can keep the company's secret information safe.

It's being called GE's big bet: a new information technology center in Innsbrook. 200 new jobs, with salaries near or above $100,000.

Gary McLaren is with Henrico Economic Development.

"They're some very unique, high demand skills that these folks are looking to ramp up pretty quickly," McLaren said.

So quick, in fact, that many of the jobs were posted today. GE wants IT professionals who can help the company protect its vast online network. About 50 jobs are currently available, with plans to hire about 200 within a few years.

GE's announcement is the latest in what's been a string of good news for Henrico County.

In March, it was revealed that Bank of America intends to buy 65 acres in eastern Henrico for a new processing center. QTS is transforming the vast, vacant space at the old Qimonda plant into a data center. And, back at Innsbrook, Capital One is taking over two other buildings for a new call center. Signs that the local economy is moving in the right direction.

"Things are getting better," said McLaren.

So why did GE choose suburban Richmond? One reason is access to young talent freshly educated in cyber security.

"GE is looking for the best and the brightest. And I do think that there are gonna be opportunities for recent grads coming out of Virginia colleges and universities to take a shot at these jobs," McLaren said.

The announcement was hailed by local  elected officials, including Gov.  Bob McDonnell, who said in a statement, "It is a great testament to Virginia's business environment that an internationally known company like GE chose Henrico County for its new Center of Excellence."

McLaren added that when a company like GE does business in an area, other companies notice. There are more prospective companies in the local pipeline, he said, but authorities would not disclose what they are.

GE's new information technology center is expected to open this Fall. Job openings can be viewed here.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.