Garmin’s Canadian subsidiary, Garmin Canada, plans to add a third floor to its existing headquarters in Cochrane, Alberta, and fill it with 200 new science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) jobs.
The American GPS and wearable technology company said the expansion will nearly double its existing employee base in Cochrane. Construction on the new floor will begin early spring this year, towards the goal of opening in spring 2024.
“Garmin Canada is a genuine Alberta startup success story, and we’re proud the company calls Cochrane home.”
-Mayor Jeff Genung
Garmin Canada’s expansion and hiring plans come as a number of Canadian tech companies are cutting staff and American tech giants are scaling back their presence in their country. The announcement comes weeks after Alphabet-owned artificial intelligence (AI) firm DeepMind announced plans to close down its Edmonton site, dealing a blow to Alberta’s AI sector.
The DeepMind move is part of widespread layoffs at Google parent company Alphabet, which have impacted the firm’s employees across Canada. Meanwhile, other Big Tech firms like Salesforce, Meta, Twitter, and Amazon have also implemented mass staff cuts that have impacted Canadian employees.
According to Garmin Canada, its expansion is being supported by Garmin and a partnership between the Town of Cochrane, Edmonton real estate development firm Springwood Developments, Garmin Canada and the Government of Alberta, through an extension of the Community Revitalization Levy (CRL) program. Alberta’s CRL program enables municipalities to borrow against future tax revenues to help fund infrastructure developments in specific areas.
Garmin Canada has been developing fitness and outdoor tech for over 20 years. As Garmin Canada managing director Jim Rooney noted, the company’s journey began in 1998.
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Garmin Canada originated as a Cochrane, Alberta-based tech startup named Dynastream Innovations that manufactured personal monitoring products, including foot pods and heart rate monitors for health, sports, and fitness use. Dynastream also developed the ANT wireless protocol, which is now used in millions of sports and fitness devices worldwide.
In 2006, Garmin acquired Dynastream for $36 million in cash, and five years ago, the fitness tech giant rebranded Dynastream to Garmin Canada and opened its current office. Today, Garmin Canada serves as “a key site” for research and development for Garmin, housing software, electrical, and mechanical engineers that work with other Garmin offices worldwide.
“Garmin Canada is a genuine Alberta startup success story, and we’re proud the company calls Cochrane home,” said Cochrane mayor Jeff Genung. “We are pleased to be working together to continue building this community as a technology hub.”
Feature image courtesy Garmin Canada.