BLUEFIELD — A California-based information technology company is locating a “prosperity hub” in downtown Bluefield, bringing 200 to 500 jobs and, officials say, creating a “game changer” for the city.
Intuit Inc., makers of TurboTax and QuickBooks, made the announcement this morning at the Clover Club on Commerce Street, presenting an overview of the planned investment into Bluefield, jobs it plans to bring and a future vision for building the prosperity hub.
Founded in 1983, Intuit produces TurboTax, a consumer tax preparation application, the accounting program QuickBooks, Mint, professional tax solutions ProConnect Tax Online, ProSeries and Lacerte, and multiple payroll products.
The company will provide a customer success center for product support and an innovation lab for entrepreneurship and small business owners.
“This is huge,” said Jim Spencer, the city’s economic and community development director. “It’s a game changer for Downtown Bluefield.”
Brad Smith, executive chairman of the board and West Virginia native, said the company, which is headquartered in Mountain View, Calif. and serves 80 million customers, is based on values he learned growing up in the Mountain State in Wayne County, including “integrity without compromise” as well as giving back to the community.
“We are a company for those who care to dream,” he said, referring to Intuit’s emphasis on not only bringing well-paying jobs with good benefits but also the innovation lab to foster entrepreneurship.
Eileen Fagan, the company’s head of corporate responsibility, said, “We bring jobs with the customer success piece but the strategy put together around corporate responsibility is bigger than that.”
Jobs are essential, she said, as well as building skills that empower entrepreneurship.
Fagan said it “starts in education” and financial literacy, which is why the company will work with area public schools and colleges, including starting a Junior Achievement program.
“Building those skills is part of the program we are bringing to Bluefield,” she said.
Fagan said the company considered 935 communities that have struggled economically to locate, but Bluefield fit a “rigorous” evaluation, including government and community relations and broadband access.
“This is a community that we can work with and who wants to work with us,” she said. “That is why we are here.”
“We need this,” said Spencer. “We thank you and we appreciate your confidence in us.”
Fagan said the company would begin the process of locating in Bluefield "as soon as possible."
The choice of a downtown building that will be used for the prosperity hub has not yet been finalized, Mayor Ron Martin said.
With more than 9,000 employees, the company has offices in eight other countries around the world: UK, Australia, France, Singapore, India, Brazil, Canada, and Israel.
It was recently ranked 24th on Fortune top 100 best companies to work for and has been named by People Magazine as one of the “companies that care” and by Forbes as one of America’s “best employer for diversity.”
The company says it powers prosperity “by attracting the world’s top talent, bringing vital partners into our global platform, and leaving the world a better place through exceptional corporate citizenship.”