Last updated: February 16. 2013 8:13PM - 176 Views

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JENKINS TWP. – In spite of its name, the hardware services depot recently opened by technology company C3i is more than a warehouse.

You might call it a high-tech hub.

Morristown N.J.-based C3i engineers, services and repairs computers and applications used by companies in the life sciences industry, including pharmaceutical companies, clinical research organizations and health industry software vendors.

Besides warehouse and shipping workers, the depot's 75 full-time employees include software engineers, hardware repair technicians and managers, who receive, repair and distribute computers from the depot at the CenterPoint East Commerce & Trade Park. Between 10 and 40 contract employees also work at the depot as needed for specific projects, C3i co-founder and CEO Joel Morse said at a ribbon cutting Tuesday.

The opening of the depot completes the consolidation of C3i's U.S. support personnel in Northeastern Pennsylvania, a process that began in 2007 with the opening of a call center in Plains Township that employs 125 customer service workers and managers. C3i also employs 55 at a client site in Swiftwater, Monroe County.

Morse said the company's move to Jenkins Township was influenced by a local workforce familiar with the service industry and the site's close proximity to the call center in Plains Township. It was also heavily swayed by an attractive state incentive package, he said.

"It's pro-business growth," Morse said. "We have seen really excellent support by Pennsylvania and Luzerne County … "

That support included state opportunity and job-training grants totaling $560,000 and $454,000 in job creation tax credits, according to Steve Yokimishyn, regional director of the Governor's Action Team.

The depot occupies 41,000 square feet in a 92,400-square-foot building leased from Mericle Commercial Real Estate. Morse said having a pre-constructed, modifiable space to move into played a major role in the company's decision to relocate.

"As we looked around and we needed to make decisions in a short time period, this building had to be ready, it had to be empty and ready for us to come in and design it the way we wanted to design it, and so without the building, we could not be here."

Greater Pittston Chamber of Commerce President Joseph D. Burke said he was optimistic the company's consolidation in the area could spur future job opportunities.

"At the end of the day we think that C3i will create the opportunity for jobs, and good job opportunities," Burke said. "I think it would be quite appropriate to say that this acts as a beacon to other companies that might consider investing here and carrying out their work in the community."

According to its website, C3i, headquartered in Morristown, N.J., has about 1,400 employees in its operations in the United States, Bulgaria, China and India.

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