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Beebe, HP announce 200 new jobs in Conway

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was originally published December 18, 2013 at 10:55 a.m. Updated December 18, 2013 at 11:10 a.m.

gov-mike-beebe-speaks-while-john-herzog-of-hp-looks-on-during-a-news-conference-wednesday-morning-at-the-state-capitol

Gov. Mike Beebe speaks while John Herzog of HP looks on during a news conference Wednesday morning at the state Capitol.

HP will add 200 high-paying jobs for positions such as software engineer and business analyst in Conway next year, the company and Gov. Mike Beebe formally announced at a news conference in Little Rock.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported on the jobs in Wednesday's edition, noting the hiring announcement came after negotiations with HP to reimburse the state for incentives it received when it opened a call center in 2008. That agreement called for it to have at least 1,000 employees at the center, but HP laid off 500 workers earlier this year.

Beebe said at the news conference that between 600 and 700 workers remain at the Conway facility before the new jobs are added.

"Adding this back in is a major positive for HP and for Arkansas and for Conway," Beebe said. "And the type of jobs in particular are significant."

John Herzog, an account executive with HP, declined to specify how much the new jobs would pay, but described them as higher-paying than the call center jobs.

Herzog said it's possible some of the laid-off workers could be rehired, though he noted the positions are very different.

"These are some different skill sets," he said.

Beebe said the jobs were created because of demand across the country "with regard to health care information delivery" and Medicaid.

"It has created job opportunities for HP and bigger demand for HP that requires computer programmers and folks with a significantly higher skill level," he said.

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Marks says... December 18, 2013 at 4:37 p.m.

So are these 200 jobs being "created" to get HP off the hook in regards to the incentives that ARKANSAS has or will pay with tax payer dollars? If so, does this set a new lower number they have to maintain?

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