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COLUMBIA, Mo., - 20 May 2011: At a ribbon-cutting ceremony today officiated by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, IBM (NYSE: IBM) executives and leaders of Missouri's business and governmental communities announced that a new IBM technology service delivery center is now operational and the centerpiece of the state's economic development initiative in Columbia.
IBM has committed to create up to 800 new locally based jobs by the end of 2012 as part of its strategy to deliver high-quality, competitive technology services globally. The Columbia opening comes 21 months after IBM opened a similar facility in 2009 in Dubuque, Iowa, and hired more than 1,000 technical professionals to perform the same type of work.
"Creating high-quality, career-supporting jobs is the top priority of my administration, and IBM's locating a new technology delivery center in mid-Missouri is a tremendous win for our state economy," said Governor Jay Nixon. "The creation of 800 new high-tech jobs is another indication of the strength of our rebounding economy, which created nearly 27,000 new jobs statewide in just the past two months while our unemployment rate dropped to its lowest figure in two full years."
The opening of IBM's technology services delivery center in Columbia is a milestone in the ongoing growth of the Midwestern city, Missouri's fifth largest with a population of 108,500 according to the 2010 U.S. census. Columbia is consistently listed among the top cities in the United States by national magazines and organizations. Its excellent public school system, access to quality health care and central location have earned it a position as one of the top places to live and conduct business.
The new service delivery center will primarily support IBM's U.S. information technology (IT) services clients, providing server systems operations, project management and security services, including maintenance and monitoring of computer hardware and software systems. Employees will manage the servers and storage systems that are critical for assuring optimal information technology performance for IBM's clients.
"Today is a great day for our community, the region, and the state of Missouri," said Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid. "We wholeheartedly welcome IBM and its employees to our community and look forward to a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship. We are honored that IBM saw the potential in our city and workforce and chose to make this investment."
IBM will work with the University of Missouri and many of the other colleges and schools that offer IT education in the Columbia region to recruit and train employees, as well as hire experienced professionals.
"The opening of the IBM Services Delivery Center in Columbia will further strengthen the ties between our two institutions, and provide our graduates with access to highly skilled positions with a world class employer right here in our own backyard," said Brady Deaton, Chancellor, University of Missouri. "The University of Missouri and IBM have long enjoyed a strong and mutually beneficial relationship in terms of recruitment and hiring, joint research, and development of curricula to prepare students for the jobs of the future."
In addition, IBM will look for opportunities to partner with the schools to enhance their curricula to better prepare students for opportunities in the IT industry, including the types of roles found at IBM.
"IBM's technology services clients not only need a partner to manage their technology infrastructure, but one that can help them to solve global business challenges and uncover new opportunities for growth," said Tim Shaughnessy, senior vice president, IBM Services Delivery. "The center here in Columbia will employ the type of professional who can adapt to change, handle complexity and has the necessary analytical and technical proficiency to help our clients accomplish their goals by delivering high-value, quality information technology services. We are delighted to partner with the city of Columbia and the state of Missouri, and we look forward to a successful, enduring relationship."
Together the two facilities in Dubuque and Columbia will ultimately employ more than 2,000 professionals in the technology and engineering services industry. The opening of the Columbia center marks an ongoing commitment by IBM to invest and develop 21st century skills-based economic drivers where there is a nexus of talent, ready academic resources and a strong government partnership. From 2002 through 2009, for example, IBM invested over $13 billion in capital expenditures in the U.S. including about $1 billion in Burlington, Vermont, and $5 billion in East Fishkill, New York, to build microchip fabrication facilities. That investment has contributed to the development in New York of the Albany Nanotech Center as an economic magnet for associated industries.
In May 2010, IBM announced the signing of a 10-year lease, with optional extension years, to occupy and renovate a building on LeMone Industrial Boulevard. The building has been updated with the goal of achieving Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. LEED is a third-party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance "green" buildings. The city of Columbia and IBM are also working together to incorporate the new facility into Columbia's Sustainable City program, which includes building bike paths to connect the facility with downtown and planting new trees and bushes along and around LeMone Industrial Boulevard.
The new center is part of an extensive network of IBM service delivery centers in more than 20 countries, with multiple sites in many of those countries that provide IT services to IBM clients around the world.
For more information, visit www.ibm.com/services
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