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BD to increase S.A. employment to 500
May 15, 2014

By David Hendricks, San Antonio Express-News

SAN ANTONIO - Becton, Dickinson and Co., a medical technology and equipment-supply company, revealed Thursday that it plans to grow its San Antonio workforce from 325 people to 500 by 2017.

The company, which mostly goes by the name BD, made the announcement during an event in which the Texas Workforce Commission granted the company a $450,027 training grant to assist in its expansion.

Alamo Colleges will provide customized training for 248 workers.

BD, based in Franklin Lakes, N.J., will use the training grant to upgrade the office and administrative skills of 219 of its existing employees and 29 new workers as it moves toward its 500-employee goal.

Training will be for the positions of customer service representatives, associate care specialists and accounts payable specialists. Trained workers will receive average hourly pay of $19.98.

With nearly 30,000 employees in 50 countries, BD is expanding in San Antonio mostly by bringing positions from other back-office centers as the San Antonio center consolidates its support role for North America, including Canada and Puerto Rico, said Phyllis Gallay, site director for the BD North America Shared Service Center in San Antonio.

"We're expanding because of the quality of the workforce and skills base," added Paul Nicolaisen, BD vice president of global shared services. "The city is a great fit for the kinds of jobs we offer."

San Antonio was chosen to be one of five support centers opened in the past three years "because of the cost and quality of labor, the number of university graduates and the quality of life," Nicolaisen said.

Other contributing factors were the concentration of medical companies, the Central time zone, and local and state incentives.

The company operates in 49,000 square feet on the second floor of a building at 5859 Farinon Drive on the Northwest Side, which can accommodate 350 workers. It will expand to another 20,000 square feet on the first floor, which can accommodate up to 180 more, Gallay said.

About 96 percent of the employees were hired locally since the company announced its San Antonio center in 2010 and opened it in 2011, Nicolaisen said. Gallay said current employees are from 16 countries and speak 12 languages.

The original incentives that helped attract BD to San Antonio were $1.56 million from the Texas Enterprise Fund and tax abatement agreements from the city and Bexar County.

The company is receiving a six-year, 100 percent tax abatement from the city, phasing out through the 10th year. From Bexar County, BD is receiving a 10-year, 100 percent tax abatement.

The city's tax abatement contract called for the company to employ 296 people by December 2013, with 70 percent or more of workers paid at least $12.76 an hour.

The training grant comes from the Texas Workforce Commission's Skills Development Fund. The Legislature allocated $48 million to the fund for the 2014-15 biennium.

BD specializes in devices and testing equipment aimed at improving drug delivery, improving diagnosis of infectious diseases and cancers, and managing diabetes.


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