Accenture, the professional services consultant, will increase its Minneapolis-based workforce by 400 jobs by the end of 2020.
“We are an innovation-led company and Minneapolis is an innovation-led city, and this is an investment in innovation for our clients,” CEO Julie Sweet of Accenture North America said in a telephone interview. “Accenture works across more than 40 industries and the imperative for continuous innovation in every industry is clear.”
Accenture employs 1,600 workers at its downtown headquarters and serves dozens of local clients, including Cargill and Xcel Energy, with services that range from strategy to digital integration and cybersecurity.
The new jobs are part of Accenture’s accelerated investment in innovation in the U.S.
Announced last February, the plan includes 15,000 new jobs and a $1.4 billion investment in training by the end of 2020.
The company’s U.S. “innovation hubs” in the U.S. are in New York, Chicago, Houston, San Jose, Calif., Washington and Boston.
Sweet, who is based in Washington, D.C., said more than half of the company’s work is in the areas of digital, cloud computing and security.
“Companies have to be continually innovating [in their shops],” she said. “That’s not about getting on a plane … and flying to Silicon Valley.”
Sweet and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey are scheduled to announce the Minneapolis growth plans at City Hall on Friday. Frey said in a telephone interview Thursday that the local Accenture investment is a vote of confidence in the city as a center of enterprise and innovation.
“The additional investment in Minneapolis reinforces our city’s reputation as a substantial technology hub,” Frey said. “Four hundred highly skilled jobs by the end of 2020. This is excellent news.”
Minnesota has seen job growth about on par with the nation, the Department of Employment and Economic Development reported last month.
Minnesota gained 44,200 jobs in 2017, a growth rate of 1.5 percent, the same as the U.S. as a whole, DEED said. The Twin Cities added jobs at a slightly higher 2.4 percent rate last year, according to DEED figures, which are subject to revision.
Accenture is part of a number of business technology and community initiatives that range from the Minnesota High Tech Association to the Downtown Council to nonprofit workforce-development programs such as AchieveMpls, the Metropolitan Economic Development Association (Meda) and Genesys Works.
Accenture’s Minneapolis office, second largest to Chicago in the Midwest, is headed by Christine Sovereign, a University of Minnesota business school graduate and veteran consultant in the consumer goods, industrial and travel industries.