First Tech Opens Corporate Center Built for the Future

The new Hillsboro, Ore.-based workspace leverages nature, sustainability, and extensive employee input.

9/25/18

First Tech Federal Credit Union’s new Corporate Center in Hillsboro, Ore., centralizes hundreds of employees from several locations in the Portland area into a sustainable, employee-focused facility.

First Tech Federal Credit Union’s new Corporate Center in Hillsboro, Ore., centralizes hundreds of employees from several locations in the Portland area into a sustainable, employee-focused facility.

First Tech Federal Credit Union’s new Corporate Center in Hillsboro, Ore., centralizes hundreds of employees from several locations in the Portland area into a sustainable, employee-focused facility.

First Tech Federal Credit Union’s new Corporate Center in Hillsboro, Ore., centralizes hundreds of employees from several locations in the Portland area into a sustainable, employee-focused facility.

First Tech Federal Credit Union’s new Corporate Center in Hillsboro, Ore., centralizes hundreds of employees from several locations in the Portland area into a sustainable, employee-focused facility.

First Tech Federal Credit Union’s new Corporate Center in Hillsboro, Ore., centralizes hundreds of employees from several locations in the Portland area into a sustainable, employee-focused facility.

First Tech Federal Credit Union’s new Corporate Center in Hillsboro, Ore., centralizes hundreds of employees from several locations in the Portland area into a sustainable, employee-focused facility.

First Tech Federal Credit Union’s new Corporate Center in Hillsboro, Ore., centralizes hundreds of employees from several locations in the Portland area into a sustainable, employee-focused facility.

First Tech Federal Credit Union’s new Corporate Center in Hillsboro, Ore., centralizes hundreds of employees from several locations in the Portland area into a sustainable, employee-focused facility.

Just 16 months after breaking ground on its Hillsboro, Ore., Corporate Center, First Tech Federal Credit Union has moved nearly 500 employees into the stunning workspace. The facility, located in the Dawson Creek nature area, centralizes a workforce that was spread out among many local locations into one building with a lot of wow factor – an architectural wonder blending the best Oregon’s environment has to offer with innovative workspace ideas.

First Tech invited Credit Union Movement colleagues, architects, contractors, the Mayor of Hillsboro, and state legislators to a reception Sept. 20.

The 157,000-square-foot Corporate Center is currently the largest cross-laminated beam building in the nation.

During the reception, First Tech President/CEO Greg Mitchell asked attendees how long they thought it would take the forest supporting it to replicate the building. They guessed “a lifetime,” “10 years,” and “25 years.” And they gasped when Mitchell gave them the answer: only 46 minutes.

“If you think about sustainability and you think about taking carbon out of the environment and storing the carbon permanently, this building does that, but more importantly it creates a wonderful, wonderful environment for people to work in,” said Mitchell. “It becomes a living, breathing building that’s done great things for our environment and our community.”

From the inception, First Tech collaborated with its employees to find out what they needed in a workspace that would wow, inspire, and make them most effective.

“The focus as this leadership team came together was really about people first,” said Monique Little, Chief People Officer. “When we think about the work that we do serving members of the technology and innovative companies that we partner with, and serving our community, people are really at the heart of it.”

No kidding. There are bike racks, showers, and lockers so employees can ride to work or catch a run on the adjacent trails during lunch. There is a coffee shop where employees can buy a custom brew each morning. Thanks to a partnership with the local school district, students operate the business and while they’re being paid to do so, they’re also learning inventory management and customer service.

In the “Wellness Room,” staff can book time at treadmill desks.

Employees are discouraged from cramming down lunch at their desks, and instead encouraged to use the beautiful outdoor eating spaces, indoor dining areas, and amphitheater-style stairs so that they may engage with one another. These features already have staffers making new friends and driving collaboration across departments.

Creating such an experience for employees, Little said, “will in turn deliver that experience back to the people we serve.”

First Tech is currently the financial services partner to more than a half million tech industry employees “of small U.S. companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and others,” Mitchell quipped. He seriously expressed heartfelt appreciation for the members.

“We see it as a privilege to serve them, and we also see this as an opportunity to grow into the future.”

In fact, within the next seven years, the credit union will open a “twin” building right next door.

“As we continue to grow, it will create more opportunities for workers within Washington County, Multnomah County, and opportunities in surrounding areas, and opportunities for others to grow, nurture, and deliver a great experience to American consumers,” Mitchell said.