Home Depot Plans for New Tech & Customer Service C

Atlanta, GA, July 30--Home Depot said that the company is planning to establish a new technology center in Austin, Texas, and a separate customer service center for The Home Depot Supply division in New Braunfels, Texas. The centers combined will create more than 850 new jobs in Texas as the company expands resources to support its continued growth. "The Home Depot continues to make unprecedented investments in technology to support the rapid growth of its changing business. After an extensive investigation of sites, we believe that the Austin location provides us with the opportunity to expand our IT operation, as well as proximity to a major university and access to a skilled talent pool," said Bob DeRodes, executive vice president and CIO. "The positive business environment created by the state of Texas, the city of Austin and Travis County is to be credited for bringing these new jobs to this area." DeRodes added, "Today's announcement wouldn't have happened without the hard work and support of Governor Perry, Lt. Governor Dewhurst, Speaker Craddick, Austin Mayor Wynn, New Braunfels Mayor Adam Cork, County Judge Biscoe and Comptroller Strayhorn, as well as the Austin Independent School District. I also want to thank the Austin Chamber of Commerce and the New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce for their hard work in making this opportunity possible." While some IT job responsibilities may change at The Home Depot's Atlanta headquarters, the company does not anticipate job loss in Atlanta as a result of the two new centers in Texas. The new technology center will employ about 500 people. The facility will support The Home Depot's growing technology investment through a staff of engineers, system and application programmers, help desk personnel, system and network operators as well as security administrators. The center will become fully operational over the next 18 months. The new center is part of The Home Depot business transformation and the company's sizeable investment of more than $1 billion in new technology from 2002 through 2004. Additionally, The Home Depot Supply division's new customer service center in New Braunfels will employ around 350 people to support its double-digit growth. The center will open in early 2005 and will provide support services to facility management customers. "We are excited about opening a customer service center in Texas. After an extensive search process, New Braunfels was at the top of our list for its pool of qualified job applicants," said Jim Stoddart, president of The Home Depot Supply. The division is part of The Home Depot's growth strategy to expand into emerging markets and professional customer channels. The Home Depot Supply is a leading supplier of maintenance, repair and operations products to owners and managers of multi-family, hospitality, educational and commercial properties; healthcare providers; and government installations. This is the third customer service center for the division.