By Don Shilling
The San Francisco business expects to employ up to 50 workers within two years.
YOUNGSTOWN — Creation of the downtown Tech Block is taking a step forward as a San Francisco research company opens an office in a recently renovated West Federal Street building.
Revere Data plans to have 10 workers in the Semple Building by March 1 and expects to have a total of 40 to 50 within two years.
The company has signed a lease for half of the second floor but has an option for the entire 4,200-square-foot floor, said Jim Cossler, director of the Youngstown Business Incubator.
Revere Data is the first outside company attracted to the Tech Block, which is being developed downtown by the incubator and the Youngstown Central Area Community Improvement Corp.
Lih-Hann Chiu, Revere’s product manager for federal programs, said Youngstown was selected after a nationwide search because of its low cost of operations and abundance of talent.
He said Revere learned in its research that the area has a good number of college graduates but a lack of jobs for them.
“We found that it is an extremely undertapped area, and one that’s very ripe,” he said.
The company is looking for graduates who have degrees in business, economics, information technology, life sciences or engineering.
Hiring details are not set, but the company intends to announce plans soon through the incubator and Youngstown State University. Pay has not been determined.
Revere, which employs 25 people in offices in San Francisco, New York and Washington, D.C., provides information on companies to institutional investors, such as investment managers and traders.
Chiu said Revere intends to use Youngstown as the base for all of its research work on U.S. publicly traded companies. The local researchers will report to analysts based in the other offices.
The company’s researchers now are based in San Francisco, although it uses overseas contractors for about one-third of the work.
Chiu said the 10-year-old company is moving away from using contractors so it can control the work more closely.
Cossler said Youngstown can compete for this type of work because of the cost savings it offers. Rent is much less here than in established high-tech areas and wages are lower, he said.
“Technology is making the location of an office irrelevant,” he said.
Cossler has been in touch with Revere for more than a year because one of its senior executives is a native of northeast Ohio.
The incubator and Youngstown CIC recently spent $1.8 million in state and federal funds to renovate the three-story Semple Building, which is adjacent to Home Savings and Loan Co. Additional money was spent to tear down two other buildings to make way for new construction later.
That follows the construction of the $6 million Taft Technology Center, which is next to the incubator. The Taft building houses most of the operations of Turning Technologies, which began in the incubator and has grown into a 130-employee company.
The maker of audience-response systems has grown so large that its shipping operations occupy the first floor of the Semple Building.
Revere Data is looking for people with these qualifications:
Undergraduate degree in business, economics, information technology, life sciences or engineering.
Zero to two years of work experience.
Strong research and Internet search skills.
An interest in business, finance and global affairs.
Source: Revere Data