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No Guarantees On Keeping Rackers In San Antonio

Local civic leaders say they want to keep laid off Rackspace employees in San Antonio, but employers aren't sure yet whether the timing and the positions will be a good fit.

Jungledisk CEO Bret Piatt is convinced that the soon to be ex-Rackers will be able to stay in San Antonio.

"Yeah, absolutely there's a couple hundred folks here impacted in the San Antonio area and there's over 1,000 tech job openings across the city. So, if the folks want to stay in San Antonio, and they want a job in technology there's one here for them," Piatt says.

Piatt himself is a former Racker and his 25-person team at Jungledisk doubled over the last six months, but while his and other businesses TPR talked to are interested in grabbing talented employees, it all depends on timing.

"I think there'll be a gap," says Robert Miggins.

He used to be a vice president at Rackspace and for the past year has run GoSmartSolar, a four-person startup selling residential and commercial solar projects.

"You know that's a lot of talent to hit the street, alot of great talent.  So the employer in me is excited about that, but it's probably not all going to get filtered into a perfect place for everyone this spring. It might take some time," Miggins says.

Miggins says taking on another person for such a small company is a big deal, but even large companies want to make sure they get the right fit for the team.
"We're hiring," says USAA spokesperson Matt Hartwig. 

The company has 3,000 technology jobs in San Antonio. Rackspace has 3,300. Despite their openings, Hartwig isn't sure what the Rackspace layoffs will mean for the financial services company.

"I don't...I don't know. The HR scene isn't going to be my expertise, but what we want people to know is that USAA is hiring in these fields and may be the spot for you," he says. 

No one wants talented technology employees to leave San Antonio, but whether those employees will find the right job soon enough to stay, is a big unknown.

Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org