Local tech companies continue to expand, recruit new talent

Rendering of TCGplayer's new Syracuse office building.

While people may be moving out of Syracuse at a higher rate than other cities, Ben Sio at Centerstate C.E.O. says it's not because of a lack of jobs.

"Certainly not because of a lack of opportunity...since the beginning of the year, we've had 4,500 jobs opened in our priority industries including tech, but also healthcare. The jobs are here. We need to figure out ways to fill them," Sio said.

In fact, the number of tech companies is expanding at such a fast rate that recruiting employees can be challenging.

"They've had to become much more creative in how they approach it. So for example, TCGplayer is creating a really cool and interesting downtown office to attract talent and to keep talent because they have to go above and beyond what they might usually do to attract these kinds of people," Sio said.

Chedy Hampson is the CEO of TCGplayer, an online marketplace for collectibles like card games and comic books.

"We've gone from 14 people four years ago to 230 right now," Hampson said.

To accommodate their growth, the company is preparing to move into a new location in Downtown Syracuse.

"Everything we focus on as far as the design of the headquarters, the way we run our culture, the people we interact with, the restaurants we bring people to when we leave the job interview - everything is about how do we create an experience to make that person want to live in Syracuse," Hampson explained.

The same can be said for Kevin Blake and ICS, an IT company with a new office in East Syracuse. Blake says they're seeing 20-percent growth each year.

At ICS, an inviting workplace culture is also part of their success.

"We built this, we call it the game room or the millennial room, to try to attract the younger workers. We have days like bring your dog to work day, you know, non-traditional employment practices," Blake said.

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