Texas Education Agency Honors IBM With Employers for Education Excellence Award

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ARMONK, NY - 21 Nov 2008: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it has received an Employers for Education Excellence (EEE) Award from the Texas Education Agency (TEA), which recognized IBM for corporate policies and volunteer programs that help benefit public schools in Texas.

TEA credited IBM for its flexible work/life balance policies, which encourage employees to be active supporters in schools where their children attend and where they can volunteer, and for a number of programs and initiatives specifically dedicated to improving public education.

"Improving public schools has long been IBM's top social priority, so we are very honored to be recognized by the Texas Education Agency with this award," said Tony Befi, IBM's senior state executive for Texas. "IBM is proud to be a leader when it comes to creating innovative programs targeting public education. Our culture is one that encourages employees to balance work commitments with school, family and community obligations."

This is the first year for the EEE Awards, which are given in three categories -- Gold, Silver and Bronze. IBM was presented with a Gold Award. Winners in the Gold Award category have implemented policies that encourage and support employees who attend parent-teacher conferences, who implement policies to encourage employees to volunteer in school activities, and who support employees who participate in student mentoring programs.

"This award is just one way of saying thank you to companies and organizations who have demonstrated -- in a very tangible way -- a strong commitment to public education," said Dr. Don McLeroy, chair of the Texas State Board of Education. "Educating the next generation of leaders is an enormous undertaking, and we all share some responsibility for contributing to this important effort. These leaders have stepped up to the challenge and I am proud that the board is honoring them for their support."

Among the many initiatives for which IBM was recognized is Transition to Teaching (T2T), an innovative program that allows employees to take up to three years to earn a teacher certification. IBM reimburses employees up to $15,000 to cover course expenses and a leave of absence during a classroom student-teaching internship. At the end of the three years, the employee seeks a teaching job and, upon receiving a teaching contract, leaves the company to become a teacher.

The program, open to any IBM employee with at least 10 years of IBM work experience and a technical degree, is designed to help meet the need for more math and science teachers, particularly with technical backgrounds, as well as to assist seasoned employees who wish to make a career change to pursue teaching. Approximately 100 IBM employees around the U.S., and six in Texas, are participating in the program.

IBM employees are also strongly encouraged to pursue community volunteerism, and a major vehicle for that is the IBM On Demand Community, which allows employees and retirees to track their volunteer hours online. If volunteers reach a minimum required threshold -- at least eight hours a month for at least five months at a particular school or non-profit organization -- they obtain a Community Grant of up to $1,000 in cash or up to $7,500 in technology, such as PCs, laptops, servers, or early childhood education computers.

On Demand Community also includes a number of training modules to help prepare volunteers. Examples of training topics include mentoring students, promoting literacy, conducting science experiments with students, engineering robots for kids, and introducing young children to technology.

Another volunteering resource IBM provides employees is MentorPlace, a web site that facilitates student mentoring. MentorPlace allows employees to exchange email with students and also provides teachers more than a dozen learning modules. IBM conducts MentorPlace in several schools in the Dallas and Austin Independent School Districts.

IBM and Texas
Since 1932, Texas has been home to IBM operations and technology innovation. Today, IBM is one of the 25 largest employers in the state, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.

With major offices in Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, and 11,600 employees statewide, Texas represents IBM's third largest employee presence in the U.S. These employees play an active role in Texas communities, donating more than 152,000 volunteer hours and approximately $4 million in cash and technology in 2007.

IBM's Austin site, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2007, is one of the company's largest, with 6,200 employees representing 30 business divisions. Home to much of the company's processor design, hardware and software development, and a research lab, Austin is one of IBM's most important technology centers. While Austin makes up less than two percent of IBM's worldwide population, it represents 10 percent of the company's technical leadership. In 2007, for the fifth year in a row, the Austin site contributed more U.S. patents than any other IBM location. Five of IBM's top inventors call Austin home.

For more information on IBM's community and education initiatives, visit http://www.ibm.com/ibm/ibmgives/

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