A subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd. will open a research and development center in suburban Denver in a move expected to create hundreds of new jobs during the next five years, it was announced Friday.
Colorado development officials say the move by HDS to Meridian Corporate Center in Douglas County further expands the prominence of the state in the technology and electronics industry.
About a year ago, Arrow Electronics Inc. transferred its global headquarters to Englewood and has added about 400 jobs.
"What you're starting to see is a momentum and a real depth that is starting to develop around those industries," said Ken Lund, director of the Colorado Office of Economic Development.
Santa Clara, Calif.-based HDS provides mid-range and high-end enterprise storage systems, software and services.
Hitachi vice president Randy DeMont said 200 jobs — mostly engineers — should be added at the new Colorado site within a year. Hires also will be made in human resources, finance and marketing.
Hitachi also is considering a possible call center in Douglas County. About 50 people already work for HDS in downtown Denver.
"What you're getting in Colorado today is a long-term commitment from a good company," DeMont said after poking fun at some of the equipment brought by reporters covering the announcement.
"We had nothing to do with this microphone arrangement that is duct-taped together," DeMont said to laughs from the crowd.
The jobs are welcome news. Colorado's unemployment rate for August was 8.2 percent, a slight improvement from July's rate of 8.3 percent.
Friday brought news that the national unemployment rate slid to 7.8 percent in September, falling below 8 percent for the first time since 2009. State-specific numbers weren't yet available for September.