IBM to Open Tech Center in Missouri

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IBM plans to open a new technology service delivery center in Columbia, MO that will create up to 800 jobs for technical professionals. According to the St. Louis Business Journal, the company will begin hiring this summer, the new facility will be operational this fall and fully staffed by the end of 2012. IBM’s technology service delivery centers provide information technology (IT) services and business process outsourcing services to IBM clients.

IBM has signed a 10-year lease, with optional extension years, for a building at 2810 LeMone Industrial Blvd. that it plans to renovate for LEED certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The company said it worked with the Missouri Department of Economic Development, the Missouri Partnership and Regional Economic Development Inc. on the project. The state awarded $8.6 million in Missouri BUILD and $14.7 million in Quality Jobs Program incentives. Missouri’s incentive package also includes $4.5 million in training funds and $412,500 in Employee Recruitment and Referral Savings funds.

The new center will be the third IBM has opened in the U.S. in the last year and a half, joining North American service delivery facilities opened recently in Dubuque, IA and Lansing, MI. IBM has a network of service delivery centers in more than 20 countries, many hosting multiple sites.

“IBM’s decision to locate its new facility, and create 800 professional IT jobs, here in Missouri is a strong sign that we’re heading in the right direction,” Gov. Jay Nixon said in a statement. “For generations, IBM has been a trailblazer in the development and implementation of technology and software solutions, and it is exactly the type of company we want to attract and grow here in the Show-Me State.”

Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid said in a statement that the “enormous” economic benefit from IBM’s investment there “will increase the quality of life for all Columbians for decades.”

Tim Shaughnessy, senior vice president of service delivery for IBM Global Technology Services, said in a statement, “We selected Columbia for our newest facility based on several criteria, including the strong public-private partnership with the state and city, a competitive business model and the talent and skills that Missouri and the Midwest have to offer.”

IBM’s new service delivery center will primarily support the company’s U.S. outsourcing clients. The center will provide server systems operations, security services and end-user services, including maintenance and systems monitoring. Employees will manage the servers and storage systems.

Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM said it will work with Columbia-area educational institutions on recruitment and training of potential employees as well as hiring experienced workers. The company said it also wants to partner with the schools to enhance their IT curricula.

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