By Kent G. Alexander
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Microsoft officials confirmed plans Tuesday to begin operation on Jan. 1, 1996, at the University of Arizona's science and technology park and expand the Tucson work force by 1,200 employees over the next five years.
For right now, only the experienced need apply.
On Tuesday, the computer software giant held a job fair for an estimated 8,000 prospective employees at the Doubletree Inn, 445 S. Alvernon Way.
The fair was Microsoft's first public contact with Tucson in search of applicants to fill 200 openings ranging from managerial and technical engineering positions to office staff.
Linda Glenicki, general manager of End User Support, said Microsoft was "opening a product services support facility to provide technical support for two Microsoft products: Access and Excel." Access is a database management system and Excel is a spreadsheet program.
Glenicki emphasized the company is searching for personnel with a minimum of two years experience in a software related field.
"The company hopes to fill as many positions as possible from the Tucson area since relocating personnel from other (Microsoft) facilities is expensive and disruptive to existing employee life-styles."
Debra Wellington, vice president of the company's product support services, said Microsoft is a progressive company with definite interests in cultivating ties with the UA's Computer Sciences Department and other academic departments.
"The success of the Tucson operation will include finding qualified personnel from a variety of disciplines," she said.
Wellington said other Microsoft operations around the United States, totalling 17,000 employees, share close relationships with educational institutions.
Peter Downey, acting department head of the UA's Computer Sciences Department, said that unfortunately, he has not had contact with Microsoft.
"This is a good deal for Tucson and the university," he said, "and we have a strong interest in talking with Microsoft."
Downey said he hopes Microsoft will become a major employer of UA students.
In a brochure circulated at the fair, the company said it actively is searching for support engineers, training specialists, team managers and a regional manager.
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