On December 9, President of the College David A. Greene announced that Collaborative Consulting, an innovative IT consulting firm, is opening a business and delivery center in Waterville that will create 200 high-quality jobs over the next three to four years. According to an official press release, the facility will be known as the Collaborative Waterville and the facility will be located in the Hathaway Creative Center, on Water Street in downtown Waterville. Opening in January, with an initial group of 20 employees, the Center will provide Collaborative Consulting clients with digital and data solutions tailored to advance their business strategies and goals.
Greene delivered the official announcement: “I’m here today because I’m thrilled to share the news that Collaborative Consulting, an innovative IT consulting firm based out of Burlington, Massachusetts, will open a delivery center in downtown Waterville, creating 200 high-quality jobs in the next three to four years.” The announcement was met with an eruption of cheers and applause from the audience. “This truly is a great and important day for Waterville. Colby has been working with the city and business leaders over the last several months to develop a plan for the revitalization of Waterville’s downtown.” Greene said. “Colby’s a committed partner and investor downtown, we’ve purchased several properties, we’re advancing plans for residential and mixed-use developments, along with a boutique hotel for Main Street, and we will invest to create a more robust retail environment in Waterville’s great downtown,” he continued.
Collaborative Consulting’s delivery center will employ both experienced and entry-level workers, a necessary boost in Waterville’s economy. Greene also mentioned that Colby will help to fund Collaborative’s startup costs: “We wanted to insure that Collaborative Consulting, which has many options, would come to Waterville, and we wanted to be sure that they will grow and be a part of this community for many decades to come.”
Governor Paul LePage, who was the Mayor of Waterville before becoming governor, addressed the audience after a short informational video detailing the new partnership. LePage commented: “The thing that I am so pleased about… is we have government, both city government, state government, we have the private sector, we have the academic institution, that are joining together in a partnership.”
Mayor Nick Isgro took to the stage next, starting his speech by saying, “It’s a heck of a day for Waterville, is it not?” Isgro discussed the difficulty of bringing the economy of Maine into the 21st century, stating that this conversation has been occurring for a full year. “I find it amazing that the name of the company is Collaborative Consulting. I find that very fitting…. That idea of partnerships has been the major theme, no matter who we talk to.” Isgro stressed the importance of working together to complete difficult tasks such as this one saying, “We work best when we’re together, and we cannot do this by ourselves.”
Isgro then introduced CEO, Founder, and President of Collaborative Consulting William “Bill” Robichaud. “When I first met Bill Robichaud, two things stuck out to me. The first was his incredible passion for his employees… and second was his incredible passion and focus on quality of education for his employees and the products that they produce,” stated Isgro.
Robichaud was met with a standing ovation from the audience. “I’d like to take a quick moment to thank President Greene for hosting this event, but also, he’s a major reason—an enormous reason—why Collaborative Consulting is here: the man wouldn’t take no,” Robichaud said. He commented on the fact that Waterville was originally in second place for hosting the delivery center, and that he is extremely grateful and pleased that Waterville came out on top.
“It’s a delight to see all of our collective hard work come to our fruition,” Robichaud said, then asking for a round of applause for all of the people that made this partnership happen. “After an extensive nationwide search and detailed market analysis, we have chosen Waterville, Maine as the home of our next Collaborative location. It is here, in Waterville, that we will build a business and technology delivery center, and it will be called Collaborative Waterville.”
In an interview with the Echo, Robichaud stated, “I’m very, very excited…. I feel like we can really make a difference in this community in bringing what we’re bringing to this community. Honestly, you guys have no idea what we’re doing… We’re going to be working on engagements for world-class companies, solving tough business problems. Two years from now, we’re going to have a great workforce in this little market. I’m beyond excited.”
Colaborative’s Chief Strategy Officer John Williams added, “We’re beginning to see change for Waterville…. We don’t want to be the only new employer in town, we want to be the first, and hopefully that entices others to come to town with us and change the profile of Waterville as a town.”
“I’m just thrilled for Waterville,” Greene said in an interview with the Echo, “To me, being able to create the opportunity for jobs for people who live in this area is so important. The way I think about this is that this replaces a good piece of a mill for people who are here. The mills aren’t coming back, but finding a way for people who live in central Maine to be able to have really strong jobs that will provide a middle-class income and be able to live a good life… if we can help with that, then we’ve done something of real value.”
Greene added, “I hope this is the first of several companies that we’re able to attract to come here and the first one is always the hardest to get, so I’m hoping we’ll be able to find others who will really see the kind of investments we’re making in the city and who recognize what an extraordinary workforce we have here in Waterville.”