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Tech company bringing 180 jobs to Schenectady
SCHENECTADY -- Creating jobs and making invention accessible. A start-up company is coming to the Capital Region because of what's already here.
New York City-based Quirky has become very popular for making and sells products -- for consumers, with the help of consumers. Thursday the company confirmed that it's adding 180 jobs to make it happen in Schenectady.
The decision to move here about General Electric, whose history and future made Quirky want to be close. The latter company said GE gave the world a lot -- from the steam turbine, to electricity, to this television station eighty-five years ago. Quirky wants to be a part of taking innovation further.
"We've opened a fair amount of offices, but never do we get a welcome like this," said Founder and CEO Ben Kaufman.
There's something "Quirky" happening on state street -- literally.
"Schenectady has a great history and a great tradition of innovation and invention," said Mayor Gary McCarthy. "Quirky is a company that is reinventing innovation."
It selected 22,000 square feet of office space at Center City for its quality assurance lab. Every day people submit ideas for Quirky to turn in to commercial products, and launches three new ones a week.
"The best ideas in the world aren't actually in the world," Kaufman said. "They're locked in people's heads. So we started Quirky because we realized while invention is hard, invention is important. The only way the world moves forward is through invention."
It has recently began working together with General Electric for new items you can use at home.
"We are thrilled with our partnership," said Mark Little, GE Global Research CEO. "We combine our technical might, our global scale, with a start-up company that has tremendous energy."
The new Quirky space overlooks the place it says invented invention. The nearby proximity to GE's Global Research Center is critical -- as is a partnership from state and local governments. The Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority is providing a $450,000 grant for Quirky to set up shop, and Empire State Development offers $500,000 tax credits for hiring.
"I was here when things didn't look as good as they do now," said Arnie Will, Empire State Development. "When you have those transitions you need partners, you need teams, and you need people committed."The plan is to open the office space on May 1. You can find Quirky's products at stores such as Home Depot and Bed Bath & Beyond. The company will also hold a job fair at Proctor's at noon next Thursday, April 3 to fill some of the new positions in downtown Schenectady.