IBM announced it is opening a new technology center in downtown Baton Rouge, La., that will bring 800 new jobs to the area.
On March 27, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and IBM Senior Vice President Colleen Arnold revealed that IBM will establish the technology center on an old Baton Rouge Advocate newspaper site. The center will provide software development and software maintenance services to clients in the United States.
"This historic partnership will help drive major economic activity and extraordinary professional and student achievement," Jindal said at an event announcing the new center. "Indeed, this investment is a big win for LSU, Baton Rouge and our entire state because it means we can make sure our students can find good-paying jobs here at home."
Students will no longer just compete against those in Texas and Georgia, but also "peers" from around the world "to find jobs in the 21st century workforce," said Jindal.
"In order to make sure our students compete and win, we must make sure they have the very best training and skills in the world—especially in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics," the governor said. "This partnership accomplishes that goal. We are investing in our students and workers so America can continue to have the most-skilled workforce in the world."
IBM has been involved in many such public/private partnerships in the United States and abroad, including sustainability efforts in Dubuque, Iowa. The IBM Services Center in Baton Rouge is the result of a public/private partnership that will include expanded higher-education programs related to computer science as well as a major new riverfront development that will accelerate the revitalization of downtown Baton Rouge, IBM officials said. The center will employ a broad range of college graduates and experienced professionals with backgrounds in computer science and other fields, such as engineering, mathematics and science.
IBM said the center will provide IBM's U.S. clients with services that address the increasing demand for flexible software services to keep up with big data, cloud and mobile requirements they are facing. IBM Services Center: Baton Rouge will deliver technology services including application development, application management and system integration.
Moreover, in addition to the 800 jobs that will be created at the center over the next four years, Louisiana State University (LSU) estimates the project will result in approximately 542 new indirect jobs, for a total of approximately 1,342 new, permanent jobs in the state's Capital Region.
"This center exemplifies IBM's longtime commitment to partner with local communities and academic institutions to develop the capabilities our clients need," said Colleen Arnold, senior vice president of application management services at IBM, in a statement. "Our global capability model is designed to address the broadest spectrum of client requirements, build and deliver advanced skills, while inspiring and sustaining the next-generation workforce that drives innovation."
For the event, Gov. Jindal and Arnold were joined by Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden, Baton Rouge Area Foundation President and CEO John Davies, and LSU College of Engineering Dean Richard Koubek.