UPDATE: Epic adds another 500-plus jobs, local economic impact g - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Epic adds another 500-plus jobs, local economic impact grows

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VERONA (WKOW) -- Dane County's fastest-growing employer continues to hire and expand at an incredible pace. 

Epic Systems in Verona added 516 new employees last week, bringing their total staff up to 7,400 people.

Epic is growing physically as well.  The massive construction site on the north side of their campus is, in a word, stunning.  There are as many cranes there as you're likely to see in most major cities.

"In essence it is hard to find a company in Wisconsin right now that is growing this fast, this consistently, not only in what appears to be the revenue side, but the employee side," said Tom Still, President of the Wisconsin Technology Council.

Epic is growing so fast it will likely soon double its size in less than four years.  In June of 2011, the company employed only 4,200 people.  The growth has been so exponential, Madison Metro Transit is looking at adding two new buses simply to accommodate the number of employees traveling from downtown Madison to the Epic campus each day.

"As Epic continues to grow, the impact continues to grow," said Karl Curtis, Executive Director of the Verona Chamber of Commerce. 

Employees are packing into new apartments and spending more and more money at area businesses.  In fact, Epic now provides the Verona Chamber with a schedule of when its on-site cafeteria will be closed, as a precaution of sorts.

"One day, they caught us by surprise and the rumor mill was that some restaurants ran out of food to serve their regulars later in the day because the Epic lunch crowd was so big," said Curtis.

Epic already owns more than half of the market for electronic medical record-keeping software in the U.S. and that industry is still booming.

"The market is emerging yet, not only here but around the world," said Still.  "So, the potential for growth for Epic remains really large."

Epic's growth has caught the eye of Governor Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) as well.

"Epic is a true Wisconsin success story," Gov. Walker's office told 27 News in a statement.  "Governor Walker commends Epic and its employees for the positive contributions to the Verona area and the state."

And Epic apparently isn't done hiring.  There are currently 51 open positions listed on the company website.

Epic officials are notoriously reticent to embrace publicity and chose to pass on commenting on this story as well.

MADISON (WKOW) -- The exponential growth of new jobs at medical software giant Epic Systems in Verona is providing both great opportunity and challenges for the local economy.

At a meeting of the Madison Transit and Parking Commission last week, Madison Metro Transit General Manager Chuck Kamp announced that his agency was seeking to buy two new buses to serve the increased traffic on their express routes from downtown to the Epic campus.

Kamp told commission members Epic added 516 new employees last week alone.

Karl Curtis, Executive Director of the Verona Chamber of Commerce, said the growth is staggering.  But Curtis added that Epic has kept up very good communication with his office about what local businesses can expect.

For instance, Curtis said that Epic will alert the Verona Chamber whenever the campus cafeteria will be closed.  Curtis said that's a big help, because the influx of thousands of Epic employees into the area at lunch time can wreak havoc if local restaurants aren't prepared.  On one such occasion Curtis was told several restaurants ran out of food. 

Epic employed 6,800 people as of February.  27 News has asked the company for an update to those numbers.

Greg Neumann will have more on this story on 27 News at 5 and 6.
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