SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - Is Spokane County the Silicon Valley of the north? Maybe not, but many tech companies are starting to expand to the area.
The company Egnyte just opened its first non-Californian office in Spokane Valley in February.
Senior Director of Customer Success Antoine Valentone says our area was too good to pass up.
"Resources are scarce in the Bay Area and they're looking to branch out to other places and I see again because of the uniqueness of the situation with the four universities here, all in one place, that other organizations will see that opportunity and try to seize it," Valentone said.
There's nearly 70,000 college students and potential employees in eastern Washington.
Austin Garner is a West Valley High School grad and proud WSU Coug alum. He's now a regional manager.
"It's relieving to know I don't have to leave the comfort of Washington state and seek out great opportunities in California which is extremely expensive," Garner said.
Egnyte is backed by Google investments, and is a file sharing company that stores your information both locally and on the cloud. Other technology companies have expanded or plan to expand to Spokane County like Salesforce, Act-On, and F5.
"I think we're going to have more of these coming in the future. We've worked with maybe 5-10 of those in the past 12 months and several of them have landed here," said Robin Toth, the Vice President of Business Development at Greater Spokane Inc.
The businesses are hoping to hire both experienced employees and new grads who want to make a living wage.
"We think those jobs are paying in the range of $50,000 to $75,000 a year to start. Our average annual wage right now is about $42,000," Toth said.
"There's a rich talent pool that's still sticking around spokane and jobs will continue to be here for the foreseeable future," Garner said.
Egnyte had four interviews with future college grads Wednesday, hoping local talent will fill local empty desks.
"It's a breath of fresh air knowing that I can use my education and live in the place that I like, that I love," Garner said.
Egnyte says business is going so well in our area, they plan to expand this office once again from 20 employees up to 40.