Dean Iacovetti, director of recruiting for Apprenda, delivers the keynote address at “Discover Troy: How to use your surroundings to recruit and retain top talent,” a Downtown Troy Business Improvement District event held Tuesday morning at City Station East on 6th Avenue in Troy.
By Lauren Halligan, The Record
The Downtown Troy Business Improvement District (BID) held the first event of its kind this week to help people discover Troy.
Titled “Discover Troy: How to use your surroundings to recruit and retain top talent,” the Tuesday morning event held at City Station East on 6th Avenue drew dozens of interested business owners from the local community.
The goal of the gathering was to help spread the word that Troy has everything, including history, art, culture and fun, making it a great place to work, live, play, and do business.
Organized by the BID’s Business Development and Retention Committee, the morning’s keynote speaker was Dean Iacovetti, director of recruiting for Apprenda, a software company which recently relocated from Clifton Park to Troy’s Hedley Building on River Street. Iacovetti has grown Apprenda’s employee base from more than 20 employees to 80 in less than two years, with plans to reach 100 in six months.
Even after looking at other cities and towns including Saratoga Springs, Albany, Malta, and Clifton Park, Troy’s downtown was a key factor for Apprenda choosing its new home.
From the coffee shops to the Arts Center to the eateries and bars like Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Lucas Confectionery and The Ruck, “It’s a really cool city rich with culture,” Iacovetti said.
Another important factor was the new office’s proximity to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, from which the company draws talented workers. “There’s unbelieveable culture within the environment,” Iacovetti said.
One of the company’s deciding factors in settling on Troy was that many of its employees, including Dan Plunkett, Apprenda’s business development executive, either lived or planned to move to Troy in the near future. Plunkett, 29, took the job when the company was still in Clifton Park, but decided to buy a house in Troy and make it his home. When the company moved to the Collar City, he was more than pleased with the shorter commute. But beyond that, he loves his new city. “There’s something here for everyone,” Plunkett said. “We do have it all.”
It’s clear that people want to be in Troy. As the local company’s recruiter, “I’m okay at what I do, but being in a cool area is really helping me recruit,” Iacovetti said.
“The downtown district is a recruiting point,” BID director Erin Pihlaja said.
Additionally, economic development coordinator for the city Monica Kurzejeski noted that the entire city has many neighborhoods beyond the downtown district that people are proud to call home. “The city of Troy is actually really rich with housing opportunities,” she said. That goes for commercial space, too. From eclectic downtown spaces to large, fancy offices, “We have tremendous appeal as far as variety,” she continued.
“Troy is here. We’re going forward, and this is proof of it,” said Troy Mayor Lou Rosamilia during the early morning event. On Apprenda coming to the city, “There’s a lot of options out there, but they made the right choice.”
The BID and its Business Development and Retention Committee plan to host a Discover Troy event on an annual basis, Pihlaja said.