Move into Silicon Labs' space signals major shift for national nonprofit
February 24, 2014
Staff Writer – Austin Business Journal
The nonprofit Communication Service for the Deaf has moved to Austin from Sioux Falls, S.D., and taken nearly 16,000 square feet of prime space in one of the Silicon Laboratories Inc. (Nasdaq: SLAB) buildings downtown on Cesar Chavez Boulevard.
The move brings 50 of the national organization’s more than 1,000 employees into Austin with the goal of being connected to members of the city’s deaf community, anchored by the Texas School for the Deaf.
“Austin is also an emerging… technology and business community,” Anthony Mowl, the group’s marketing director, told Austin Business Journal. “Both the technology/business and deaf communities allow us to tap into a strong workforce, attract talent, and have access to a network of people who can help us with our objectives. Before relocating to Austin, we considered a number of locations, including the Bay Area, [and] Washington, D.C., but ultimately felt that Austin offered us the best fit.”
Mowl said Silicon Labs’ open, well-lit space with many windows made it “deaf friendly” because it was more conducive to visual communication, including sign language. Oxford Commercial helped CSD find the space while Samuels Construction and STG Design did the architectural work and furnishing.
The group’s Austin workforce is made up of most of its leadership team, software engineers and system administrators, its primary interpreting operations, human resources and accounting staff.
The move also puts CSD into a hub of technology talent who Mowl hopes will help create advancements in video communications technology, software development or interactive media aimed at the deaf community.
“CSD is going to be continuously hiring in the Austin area, but more than that we are also looking to build relationships with the business community,” Mowl said. “We basically want to send the message that if you are doing something that may benefit the deaf community or if you want to reach out to them [or] have ideas, CSD should be the first place you go to talk to.”
CSD’s had total revenue of $41.6 million for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012.