IBM Global Services Aids Toledo-Based Regional Growth Partnership With Economic Development

IBM Management Consultants Appointed to Help Agency in Efforts to Develop World-Class Strategies to Bring Jobs and Investment to Northwest Ohio

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ARMONK, NY - 18 Aug 2006: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that the Regional Growth Partnership (RGP), the lead economic development agency for Northwest Ohio, has appointed IBM management consultants to advise the agency with its strategies to attract inward investment and economic development to the region.

"For a long time we've focused on successfully attracting and expanding high quality business activity, but as the world globalizes and attracting investment becomes more competitive, we need to stay ahead of the game," said Steve Weathers, president of the Regional Growth Partnership. "This is about continuing to be smart. We have to understand what skills are needed in this new economy and where Toledo and Northwest Ohio must invest to remain competitive in the areas of innovation and technology, so our economic development plan is effective as possible."

IBM's global location strategy consultants will work with the RGP to help ensure that the region's economic development plan to attract new business is based upon meeting the current and future needs of potential investors. This includes assessing Toledo and Northwest Ohio's skills and competitive position in core business sectors against those of similar regions. This is to help ensure investment decisions are based on sectors of strength and market demand.

As a further area of focus, IBM will help the RGP team with understanding in-depth the needs, demands and strategies of international and domestic corporate location decision makers. Additionally, the team will also focus on the collaborative strengths and expertise that area colleges and universities can provide to investors.

"Economic development is changing as the world globalizes and job growth opportunities shift. Developed and developing regions must stay ahead of competitors by defining and implementing new strategies to be successful," said Gene DePrez, partner and Americas leader IBM Global Location Strategies, IBM Global Services. "More than ever, regions need to offer the mix of skills and businesses that aid innovation for regional and international companies who are choosing locations to help them move ahead in their marketplaces."

IBM Global Location Strategies, also known as IBM-Plant Location International, is part of IBM Global Services and specializes in advising clients about corporate location, inward investment and economic development strategies. Corporate location strategy consultants focus on analyzing international and domestic business locations for expanding or consolidating companies to select the optimal location against best shareholder value. Inward investment and economic development strategy experts work with regional development organizations to analyze competitive global positioning versus other regions and define such tactics as marketing strategies.

The group has been active for 45 years in this area and has advised over 2,000 companies on location decisions, worked with over 100 government agencies promoting economic development strategies and performs more than 1,000 location assessments each year.

About RGP

The Regional Growth Partnership is a private nonprofit development corporation dedicated to fostering local, national and international economic growth opportunities for Northwest Ohio.

About IBM

For more information about IBM, visit

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