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Oracle : aims for S.A., asks for incentives

06/06/2014 | 11:24am US/Eastern

One of the largest software companies in the world plans to bring hundreds of jobs to San Antonio, but city council must approve a $1 million grant toward the project.

On Tuesday, Bexar County Commissioners gave a tentative approval to the overall Oracle proposal.

If the council gives the go-ahead on the grant, Oracle will develop a new operations center in San Antonio and will create a minimum of 200 new full time jobs by 2016 with an average annual salary of $77,250.

Headquartered in California, the tech giant specializes in developing and marketing computer hardware systems and enterprise software products.

According to Forbes, Oracle is ranked as the second-largest software maker by revenue, only behind Microsoft.

District 9 Councilman Joe Krier, who served as president and CEO of The Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce for two decades, is a big supporter of the project.

During his time at the Chamber, Krier was the driving force behind most major civic and economic development initiative in the city.

"The Oracle project is one of the best I have seen in over 25 years of working on job recruitment," Krier told La Prensa.

His reasoning lies behind Oracle's competitive wages and full benefits available to all employees.

"It doesn't get much better than that," Krier added.

In addition to his background with the Chamber, Krier also serves on the council's Economic Development Committee.

If the $1 million grant is approved, it will be in addition to a $200,000 Economic Development Grant Bexar County Commissioners Court gave the thumbs up on Tuesday, although the final agreement won't come back to the Court until next month.

A project may apply for grant money from the Economic Development Incentive Fund if the company is a targeted industry, if companies pay their employees at least $ 11.32 an hour, and if at least 25 percent of the new employees are residents of Bexar County. Additionally, the company must provide access to health care benefits to full-time employees and dependents.

"What we have is a project that not only meets the city's requirements for incentives, but it substantially exceeds the city's requirements," Krier said.

The grant money may be used to fund property acquisition, site development, company expenses for moving operations to San Antonio, facility construction, studies or planning that promote growth, utility infrastructure costs not funded by CPS energy, or training for new jobs.

Krier also pointed out that these jobs will be held by people who buy homes in San Antonio and therefore pay pre-taxes.

"The city will earn back the cost of this in a row of a short period of time," Krier added. "The people who hold these jobs will be contributing a great deal to our city government and to our community."

By Natalie Bobadilla

natalie@laprensasa. com

(c) 2014 La Prensa San Antonio

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