The following article originally appeared on February 22, 2019 via Ames Tribune.

By Robbie Sequeira, Staff Writer

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) on Friday approved “with great enthusiasm” Ames-based software company Vertex Software LLC’s financial assistance application that pledges to create 300 high-quality jobs, a third of which would pay $100,000 or more, according to Jacque Matsen, IEDA marketing and communications director.

“The board was really pleased with the number of jobs, type of jobs and the fact that they are so high-paying,” Matsen said. “It’s the type of project that we should be incentivizing growth and it’s really exciting that (Vertex) has made such a strong commitment to Ames.”

Vertex, which opened in September 2017, has developed a cloud-based software product that enables users to securely share 3D product data, to any computing device.

The company will invest $32 million into Ames, pledging to create 300 new high-quality jobs that would offer a pay rate above 120 percent of the IEDA Story County laborshed rate at $26.11 per hour.

The company’s total capital investment will be $20 million, which includes the company’s plan to build and lease a 60,000 square-foot facility in the Iowa State University Research Park.

Dan Murray, CEO and founder of Vertex, said that talks with contractors will start next month with the intention breaking ground in the fall , with construction beginning in the spring of 2020.

IEDA’s incentive package for Vertex is $1.9 million in forgivable and zero-interest loans and tax credits. The company also is seeking $1.27 million in a sliding scale tax abatement from the city of Ames.

The impact of the 300 quality jobs could create a direct economic impact of roughly $100 million dollars for the city of Ames, Murray said previously.

Murray said the company looks to double its workforce by year’s end.

“We’re adding 300 jobs on top of the 66 jobs we have now, so we intend to more than double this year,” Murray said. “From there, it’s a case of scaling to meet that goal and you look at next year in 2020, and looking to nearly double the company at that point, as well.

Murray said the hiring will include the addition of software engineers, information technology workers, product managers, and administrative, marketing and customer service workers.

“When you start to scale your sales organization, and all of the support that comes with that, it helps you fuel the growth and success you have with your customers,” Murray said.

For those prospective hires, Murray wants to not only market the job opportunity, but the city of Ames as well.

“From my perspective, Ames is an easy sell,” Murray said. “A great quality of life, the amazing people here, amazing educational opportunities as well as the cost-of-living relative to other large urban areas where early-stage businesses grow is significantly less.”

Dan Culhane, president and CEO of Ames Chamber of Commerce called the decision a shot in the arm for the Ames workforce and community.

“Dan (Murray) and his wife chose Ames to build this business here, so it starts with them,” Culhane said. “It’s an incredible shot in the economic arm for Ames, Story County and central Iowa, the creation of 300 jobs, especially with the magnitude of wages, is truly incredible.”

Murray who has been involved in the entrepreneurial community in Ames for 30 years, noted his appreciation to the Ames community during the application process.

“We are really grateful for the support we have received from the state of Iowa, the city of Ames the place I grew up,” Murray said. “It’s just tremendous to have a business like this that you’re getting off the ground, and having strong community support behind us is big.”

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