Jobs mean home sales. It has been estimated that for every 2 new jobs created, the region can expect to see 1 home sale. Of course, not all announced jobs end up as a net positive gain, but any new job opportunities can only be seen as good news. Knowing the relationship between job growth and home sales, we watch hiring announcements very closely. Recently, we’ve read about a number of job openings in Austin and we want to share the latest news with you.
KLD ENERGY TO HIRE IN 2011
KLD Energy was recently granted $2.8 million from the Texas Emerging Technologies Fund, as reported in the Austin Business Journal). KLD Energy develops electric drives and is planning to use the grant money to ramp up the commercialization of their products and to expand into new markets. The company plans to hire 35 employees, mostly in Austin, over the next year to add to their existing staff of 55. Click here for more information.
The company makes electric drive systems, primarily for electric motor scooters. The motor operates without a traditional transmission and is being manufactured in a local facility in Austin. KLD Energy claims a higher efficiency than existing drive systems. They also produce the battery and motor control unit as well as operating software. Previous funding has primarily come from angel investors who have contributed at least $13 million in capital so far.
LIBERTY TAX RAMPING UP
With income tax season quickly approaching, Liberty Tax has already announced hiring plans for Austin, as well as the state of Texas and the U.S. overall. While they are probably most famous for their sign-waving, Statue of Liberty-costumed street-side workers, they are hiring for all positions, including tax preparation, marketing, and accounting, according to a recent story in the Austin Business Journal.
Liberty Tax is planning to hire 300-500 people in the Austin area, with training classes starting today. In Texas, they plan to bring on 6,400 seasonal employees overall. Their U.S. numbers are pointing to as many as 50,000 temporary employees. See their website for more details.
IDEAL POWER GETS ETF FUNDING
The Texas Emerging Technologies Fund (ETF) provided a $1 million technology grant to Ideal Power, a developer of photovoltaic inverters used in the collection of solar energy. The money will be used to increase the commercialization of the technology and will be managed by their Austin-based personnel. No specific job development plans were announced, but ETF funds are generally awarded to companies who will use the money to help create job growth. For more information about Ideal Power, please visit their website by clicking here.
Slightly controversial Convergen Lifesciences received a $4.5 million grant from the Texas Emerging Technologies Fund (ETF) according to a story in the Austin Business Journal. The grant has previously been in the news due to the concerns by some that Gov. Rick Perry used his influence on the ETF evaluation committee to push through this large grant for a friend. The issue first came to light during the most recent election cycle.
Regardless of the political ramifications and concerns, the company is to receive the second highest grant amount in the history of the program. Specifics about the use of the funds and future hiring plans have been overshadowed by the politics. It is unclear at this time how many new positions the company plans to create in Austin. But it is a big winner in the ETF awards and that should mean job opportunities for the people of Austin.
Is your company planning to hire in 2011? If so, please let us know and we’ll be happy to post the information and a link to your website. Our goal is to help the people of Austin to stay informed about the job market and we welcome any new job announcements. Email us at email@example.com with your hiring plans.