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Global tech giant Garmin officially calls Alberta home

Global tech giant Garmin officially calls Alberta home
Tue, Sep 4: Garmin Canada has chosen the town of Cochrane for its Canadian headquarters, a move that was 20 years in the making. Global’s Tomasia DaSilva reports.

An international technology giant has chosen a small Alberta town to set up its Canadian headquarters.

It may seem like a surprising choice to some, but Garmin Canada — the company behind innovative GPS technology used in items like fitness trackers and other devices — says it makes perfect sense to make Cochrane its main base.

“We really had to take a hard look and say, ‘Hey where do we want to be?’ What are our roots?” managing director at Garmin Canada, Jim Rooney said.

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Those roots started growing right in the community west of Calgary.

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Twenty years ago, a small tech startup called Dynastream Innovations was quietly working on products that would change many lives.

Garmin took notice and bought the company back in 2006, but didn’t officially change it’s name or make Cochrane its Canadian headquarters until now.

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For the town, it’s another feather in its cap.

“I’ve watched the business grow from two guys in a garage to what we’re seeing today,” Mayor Jeff Genung said. “It’s the flagship of Cochrane’s tech community and we’re hoping to attract more.”

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It’s also attracted some high paying tech jobs to the area.

Garmin Canada already employs more than 100 people in Cochrane. With its new headquarters, officials expect that number to grow, bringing what many argue are much needed jobs and diversification to Alberta’s struggling economy.