Martin Kidston

(Missoula Current) A week after opening its new office building in the Old Sawmill District, Cognizant-ATG received an economic development grant from the state to create several hundred new jobs.

Leidy Wagener with the Missoula Economic Partnership said funding from the Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund will help fuel the company's next round of growth.

The job creation grants are awarded by the Montana Department of Commerce and administered by Missoula County. Missoula County Commissioners signed off on the request this week.

“It will hopefully fund 200 new jobs over the next two years,” Wagener said. “It's up to $1 million reimbursement for those jobs.”

To be eligible for the job grants, a company must pay an employee in a newly created job $15.64 an hour or more.

Cognizant-ATG currently claims a local parole of around 300 employees, according to a recent economic impact study. It has partnered with the University of Montana to train local talent to help meet current and future job growth.

At last week's opening of the company's new $40 million office, a spokesperson said seven classes had already graduated from the university program and another cohort was set to begin.

“Fasten your seat belts because it's about to take off,” Tom Stergios, the senior vice president of strategy and corporate development at Cognizant-ATG, said last week. “We're truly just getting started.”

A report released by the University of Montana's Bureau of Business and Economic Research last month found that between 2017 and 2021, Cognizant-ATG more than tripled its number of jobs and grew its economic output roughly five times.

The study also found that in 2021, Cognizant's economic impact on Missoula reached more than $122 million. The company's presence also supported 814 local jobs in the wider economy.

Cognizant-ATG helps businesses more effectively plan, implement and optimize cloud-based business processes and technologies.