Tech Firm Getting State Money to Expand

Joel Caspers, an application engineer, works at his computer at T8 Webware in Cedar Falls on Monday, November 16, 2009. (Crystal LoGiudice/The Gazette).

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By Kara Kelly

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Cedar Falls tech firm will receive $120,000 in state incentives and $200,000 in job training assistance to help it expand into Des Moines.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority board recently approved the aid for Tactical 8 Technologies, known as T8 Web, which hopes to open an office in an area of downtown Des Moines known as "Silicon Sixth," T8 founder Wade Arnold told The Des Moines Register.

T8 provides information technology services to more than 250 financial institutions.

Earlier this month, the city of Des Moines agreed to provide the company with $24,000 in incentives for the expansion.

The project's overall cost of $331,864 includes hiring staff and renovating and furnishing office space. The expansion is expected to create at least 23 jobs that pay an average of $23.75 an hour.

An expansion to Des Moines could mean more direct contact with higher-level employees who might have worked with financial companies, Arnold said.

"In Des Moines, you can find people that have eight years of experience with an enterprise software development firm," Arnold told the newspaper. "You have people who may have worked at Shazam or Discover Financial, these great, larger companies."

About 60 percent of T8's staff in Cedar Falls has come from the nearby University of Northern Iowa, Arnold said. He said the move to Des Moines should not be seen as a slight to the community, but he said he does look forward to pulling from a talent pool that includes Iowa State University.

Additionally, he said, he wants to create a presence in Des Moines, which is why he's seeking a place between 5,000 and 8,000 square feet on Sixth Avenue.

"We want to make sure we can provide a working environment there that, like Cedar Falls, is conducive to attracting the best talent," Arnold said. "I am putting our culture in place down there, and we want to grow and invest in the community there. We don't want to move three times in the next three years."

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