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Computer Aid investing $1.3M in Harrisburg University space

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Lehigh County-based Computer Aid Inc., which has an office in Swatara Township, will add a second Dauphin County location, according to an announcement from Gov. Tom Corbett's office.

Computer Aid is investing nearly $1.3 million in a leased space inside the Harrisburg University of Science and Technology campus in downtown Harrisburg. The project includes fitting out about half of a 25,000-square-foot space on the 10th floor to accommodate computer systems, offices and conference rooms.

University President Eric Darr said he was "thrilled" by the decision and called it a "natural place for them to make an investment."

CAI, a global information technology services firm, has entered into a contract with Highmark to manage its IT revitalization project for its subsidiary, United Concordia Dental. In addition to 50 new full-time jobs, the company will be using HU students in a part-time capacity to fill some project roles, providing the students with real-world experience.

Darr said the Highmark and CAI relationship will benefit about 12 to 14 students, which also frees up limited work-study money for other HU students in need.

"They have already hired the first group of student workers," he said. "Those students have gone through fairly intensive training over the last six weeks in preparation for taking on these roles. It really fits hand and glove with our programs."

The initial lease term is for three years, he said. The arrangement could be expanded on the 10th floor of the HU facility. The 11th floor remains open, Darr said. Lease payments are going to be "well below" market, he added, because CAI is paying for the fit-out of the project space.

"In the past decades millions of IT technology jobs have been outsourced to other countries. I believe that the young men and women in this program offer a stronger alternative than sending jobs offshore," said Tony Salvaggio, president and CEO of Computer Aid. "This training will dramatically affect the trajectory of their lives and will provide a set of highly motivated, energetic and competitive skilled resources for Highmark and hopefully other businesses. I commend Highmark and their executives for initiating such a great program."

CAI received funding from the state Department of Community and Economic Development, including a $225,000 Pennsylvania First Program grant that facilitates investment and job creation. The Governor's Action Team coordinated the project.

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Jason Scott

Jason Scott

Jason Scott covers state government, real estate and construction, media and marketing, and Dauphin County. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at Follow him on Twitter, @JScottJournal. Circle Jason Scott on .

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