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GM Coming to the Northwest? Company Looking at New Technical Innovation Centers

DETROIT (AP) — GM plans to hire 10,000 computer workers at four technology innovation centers across the country. It’s part of a plan to bring 90 percent of GM’s computer technology into the company from outside firms to put GM on the cutting edge.

The company has announced the sites of the first two centers, in Austin, Texas, and suburban Detroit, but it won’t comment on the other two.

Here are details of the first two centers:

AUSTIN, Texas: GM picked the home of the University of Texas because of its rich base of high-tech workers. The Austin metropolitan area is home to a big technology community that includes computer maker Dell Inc. GM’s center already is open with a skeleton staff, but the company plans to hire about 500 people there in the next three-to-five years.

WARREN, Mich.: The suburb just north of Detroit already is home to GM’s sprawling Technical Center, which houses product development, engineers and other technical experts including the team that designed the Chevrolet Volt electric car. GM plans to hire 1,500 more computer specialists and move them into a renovated building on the site. Detroit has a ready supply of engineers and other computer experts from several nearby universities, many of whom specialize in automotive computers.

WHAT’S NEXT: Experts say the most likely locations are on the West and East Coasts. They expect one center near California’s Silicon Valley. A center also could be near Seattle, home of Microsoft Corp., or Portland, Oregon, which also has an abundance of techies.

— Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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