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Accenture To Add 500 Jobs In Chicago

UPDATED 10/12/11 9:12 a.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The accounting and consulting firm Accenture will add 500 jobs to its workforce in Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Tuesday.

Accenture has its largest office in Chicago, with more than 5,000 employees. The firm also works with 16 of the 18 Illinois Fortune 200 companies, and with 21 out of the 31 Illinois-based Fortune 500 companies, the Mayor's office said. It is also home to three innovation centers.

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"To compete in the global marketplace, Chicago must attract and retain top talent and offer competitive, high-tech jobs," Mayor Emanuel said in a news release. "Accenture's leadership and expertise helps to drive the city towards being a center for technology and innovation in the country, and these new jobs will advance Chicago in this regard."

Accenture U.S. chief executive officer Jorge Benitez said the positions will be high-tech jobs, working with utility companies, industries and other businesses.

"As an example, these 500 jobs are going to be doing smart grid technologies and a number of other areas, such as digital marketing, mobility and cloud computing," he said.

Accenture also happens to be undertaking a major project for the City of Chicago. In August, the mayor announced that the firm would conduct a complete evaluation of the city's procurement services.

As it is, Accenture has identified millions in potential savings that will start to be realized in early 2012, according to the Mayor's office.

Under the agreement that brought in Accenture, the firm will receive up to 10 percent of any savings it finds of at least $25 million.

Accenture began as the business and technology consulting arm of Arthur Andersen, and was spun off as Andersen Consulting in 1989. In 2001, the firm changed its name to Accenture after all ties with Arthur Andersen were cut, and while Accenture thrived, Arthur Andersen was effectively shut down by the Enron scandal in the early 2000s.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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