IBM, CenturyLink, and the State of Louisiana announced an innovative public-private partnership that will create high-value, high-tech jobs in Louisiana and fuel the talent demands of the digital economy.
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As part of a 10-year business transformation agreement between IBM and CenturyLink, IBM will open and staff the new applications development innovation center in Monroe, creating at least 400 new roles for experienced professionals and drawing heavily on graduates from the state’s colleges and universities.
The rapid adoption of mobile and social technologies over recent years is driving fundamental transformations to business processes and applications. The center will provide IBM’s clients with services that address the increasing demand for flexible software services to create value from big data, cloud computing and mobile-led business transformation.
In addition to the 400 direct jobs that will be created at the center, Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in approximately 400 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 800 new permanent jobs in Northeast Louisiana.
Additionally, IBM will work closely with local professors to recommend curricular innovations focused on technology, math and software development, and equip students to meet the growing demand for business services, including advanced analytics, process innovation and application development.
The State of Louisiana is providing $4.5 million in funding over 10 years to expand key higher education programs, including the computer science program at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, the cyber engineering program at Louisiana Tech, and the data analytics program at Grambling State University.
In addition, the State will provide $12 million for construction of new office space for the use of IBM, which will become an anchor tenant of a privately developed mixed-use complex.
The center in Monroe is the second IBM center in Louisiana, modeled on a highly successful IBM skills hub in Baton Rouge in 2013. Both centers are part of IBM’s globally integrated network of client service centers, delivering deep industry and technical expertise to IBM clients worldwide.
The partnership will include formal internships with IBM and additional CenturyLink internships for students in the targeted universities.
Additionally, IBM will work with the Louisiana Economic Development FastStart program on recruiting initiatives, including campus events in Louisiana and neighboring states as well as via social media, alumni events and the development of recruiting materials. ■
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