SONOMA – Nelson Interactive and Nelson Technology, divisions of Sonoma-based staffing firm Nelson Family of Companies, have opened a new office in Austin, Texas.

The two divisions in Austin will share an office and will specifically target staffing needs in the online gaming industry, as well as the creative digital, QA/production sectors, with jobs in the areas of program management, cloud computing, data warehousing, information architecture and security, according to Nelson.

Nelson is the North Bay’s largest staffing company.

Nelson said Austin is already a growing hub for the tech and gaming industries, noting that already-existing California clients Sony and Zynga, along with about 60 other such companies, have operations in the Texas capital.

“Austin has a very strong business community and we are excited about working there,” said Craig Nelson, executive vice president of staffing services. “We’re in the business of putting professionals to work in the field of computer gaming and technology, and there is a wealth of talent in the Austin area we can recruit for our partner clients.”

Nelson has hired Chris Chrisley as its Austin director of business development, citing his recruting experience in various Austin industries dating back to 1998.

Tony Rado, who was just hired as vice president of Nelson Interactive, will oversee the company’s move into Texas while continuing to focus on growth in California, according to Nelson. Mr. Rado previously worked for Sonly Online Entertainment, where he headed the quality assurance and developer services unit.

Nelson said Mr. Rado would draw on his past experience in working with onsite and offshore staffing solutions, which Nelson will utilize as it attempts to extend its offerings.

Nelson, citing Marketing Forecast, anticipates significant growth and opportunity in the gaming industry – consumers spent as much as $15.6 billion on all gaming content – including new and used video and PC games, rentals, subscriptions, digital full-game downloads, social network games and mobile game applications – in 2010.

Nelson Technology has had year-over-year growth of 217 percent in the first quarter of 2011, according to Nelson.

“We have a broad line of recruiting and staffing services, but we’re especially proficient in computer gaming and technology, having worked in the field for over 10 years,” said Tony Bartenetti, senior vice president of Nelson Staffing. “We specialize in the entertainment software industry so we can offer our clients the very best talent available.”