New Huawei investment to speed up hiring in Ottawa, Markham, Waterloo

Huawei announced Tuesday it plans on investing up to $303 million in Ontario over the next five years as it accelerates its partnership with the province on its 5G Ontario project.

The company said this means jobs initially announced in November 2014 will be coming faster to an expanded research facility in Ottawa. The funding will also speed up hiring at new research facilities in Markham and Waterloo.

“Most of our hiring will happen within the next 24 months,” said Huawei’s vice-president of corporate affairs Scott Bradley, adding that the additional investment increases the company’s number of “job years” by 33 per cent.

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Mr. Bradley said no specific job numbers were available for each location because it depends on where the talent is available.

“We could find a great wireless engineer. He or she could be based in Waterloo and they want to stay in Waterloo, they can be based in Waterloo,” he said.

But by the time all the hiring is complete, Mr. Bradley said about 55 per cent to 65 per cent of the workers would be in Ottawa. Huawei currently employs just over 300 people in Ontario, 250 of those at its Kanata office.

The research facilities will focus on advanced communications research initiatives, including 5G networks and related technologies such as cloud computing, data analytics, enterprise applications and mobility security.

Huawei announced its investment as Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne toured the Chinese firm’s Canadian headquarters in Markham. The province is augmenting the first instalment of $212 million with $16 million from the Jobs and Prosperity Fund.

“Ontario has a vibrant innovation ecosystem that we’ve been proud to be a part of for the past six years, so we’re incredibly excited about expanding our research and development facilities in the province,” Huawei CEO Ken Hu said in a statement. “Our Canadian research team is helping to drive pioneering projects around the world, and this accelerated investment in the province of Ontario reflects our confidence in Ontario and the talent of Ontario’s skilled ICT workforce.”

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