Target 8: IBM Refuses to Release Jobs Numbers Following Deadline

3 years 5 months 1 week ago February 13, 2013 Feb 13, 2013 Wednesday, February 13 2013 Wednesday, February 13, 2013 7:28:00 PM CST in News
By: Danielle McCarthy

COLUMBIA - The original target date IBM set to fully staff its Columbia facility with up to 800 people came and went at the end of 2012. However, the company is refusing to answer any questions regarding its current employment numbers.

In May 2010, IBM originally announced it would hire up to 800 people by the end of December 2012 at its new Columbia center. KOMU 8 News later learned that when the company signed a contract with the state, it actually agreed to hire 600 people by the end of 2015--a much later date it did not publicize widely.

As part of the contract, the state offered IBM $28 million in tax credits and job training funds. In an email, John Fougere with the Department of Economic Development said IBM has been receiving those incentives in increments based on the number of employees it has hired so far.

To get these incentives, IBM must file annual reports with the state documenting the number of people it has hired in the year. KOMU 8 News requested those documents from the DED and learned that as of June 30, 2012, IBM reported 469 employees with an average wage of $27.30 per hour. When it responded to our request, the DED said the June 2012 figure was the latest from IBM, meaning there is no year-end number that would state whether the company reached its original public goal of as many as 800 employees.

When KOMU 8 News reached out to IBM in September 2011 to check up on its hiring progress then, Jeff Tieszen of IBM media relations said it is not "even typical" for IBM to release hiring numbers until it is required to report them to the state.

In a written statement, IBM's director of Cross Competency Services in Columbia, Jim Chapdelaine, said, "IBM does not publicly release the number of employees, but we are currently on pace to meet our commitments to the state we agreed to in 2010." That commitment would be the 600 jobs due by 2015.

Mike Brooks of Regional Economic Development, Inc. said he does not know how many employees IBM has hired in Columbia, but agreed that it is on track to hiring the 600 employees it agreed to in its contract with the state.

Brooks said IBM's secrecy isn't unusual.

"Companies guard different pieces of information differently," he said. "Is it unique about employment? Probably not. Is it something we've experienced in this community? Not that I know of, but I don't know that it's unique when a company doesn't want to share information about what they're doing."

Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid also said he isn't sure of where IBM is in its hiring process.

"IBM is a big company," McDavid said. "It's in the private sector with a lot of competition. They are going to hold the proprietary information close to the vest and I understand that."

In addition to the state's $28 million incentive package to be paid in full by 2015 if IBM meets its goals, the city of Columbia agreed to pay $3 million over a ten-year time span to purchase a building for IBM on LeMone Industrial Boulevard. The city agreed to lease the building to IBM for a dollar per year for ten years. Despite taking millions in public money, McDavid said the company has no obligation to share its employment information.

KOMU 8 News reached out to career services at MU and Columbia College to get a general idea of how many students IBM has hired out of each school and what its recruitment efforts have been like since 2010.

Meredith Shaw, director of engineering career and professional development at MU, said IBM is certainly trying to hire a lot of students, but that many students in the College of Engineering are not looking to stay in Columbia long-term. Shaw also said that IBM has stepped up its recruiting efforts since the company first came to Columbia in 2010. Nearly two and a half years have passed since IBM made its first hires, but Shaw said she didn't have an estimate of how many students took jobs with the company and that MU and IBM are still in the relationship-building phase.

Columbia College Director of Career Services Don Malson also said IBM has been much more vigilant in its recruiting efforts in recent months. Malson said he suspects it has something to do with the company trying to reach the employment level it said it would. Malson also said he isn't sure of the exact number of Columbia College grads currently at IBM in Columbia, but he said it could range anywhere between five and 20. He also said the problem Shaw described of students not wanting to take jobs in Columbia is a problem any university or college might encounter.

"You know, we'd always like to keep the best and brightest and smartest in Columbia," the mayor said when asked about the potential problem IBM has encountered in hiring employees. "But we know the more talent one has, the more options one is going to have."

 

More News

Grid
List
JOPLIN (AP) — A 53-year-old southwest Missouri man has been ordered to stand trial in the death of a 61-year-old... More >>
7 minutes ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 3:10:16 PM CDT in News
MOBERLY - After four straight days with water boil advisory warnings, Moberly residents could see a solution to their water... More >>
15 minutes ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 3:03:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Prosecutors have charged a St. Louis woman with arranging the deaths of two 16-year-old boys who... More >>
38 minutes ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 2:39:16 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri election officials are predicting 31 percent of registered voters will cast ballots in next Tuesday's... More >>
47 minutes ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 2:31:02 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine is seeking to rally support in Missouri, where he attended... More >>
52 minutes ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 2:25:11 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The executive director of the Missouri Veteran's Commission, Larry Kay, was placed on paid administrative leave Thursday. The... More >>
1 hour ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 2:09:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia resident Beth Dixon and her team of volunteers finished preparing care bags for local law enforcement Thursday... More >>
1 hour ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 1:39:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The owner of Columbia's Bocomo Bay retail store pleaded guilty Thursday for his role in conspiring to distribute... More >>
2 hours ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 12:43:00 PM CDT in News
SCOTT CITY (AP) — A southeast Missouri man is facing charges after one of his stepchildren shot video that allegedly... More >>
6 hours ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 8:44:05 AM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Authorities are investigating after a woman was found dead inside a Kansas City apartment. Police... More >>
6 hours ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 8:18:46 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Relatives of a man badly burned after his SUV was hit by a car being chased... More >>
7 hours ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 7:44:46 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The owner of Sweetie Pie's restaurants in the St. Louis area is suing her son, alleging... More >>
7 hours ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 7:32:39 AM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A suburban Kansas City man has been sentenced to seven years in prison after a house... More >>
8 hours ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 6:50:49 AM CDT in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Thursday marks the eighth Project Homeless Connect event hosted by the City of Columbia's Community Development Department. ... More >>
12 hours ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 3:13:00 AM CDT in News
FULTON - A new outdoor activity has been bringing out Missourians to look for hidden rocks since the start of... More >>
15 hours ago July 27, 2016 Jul 27, 2016 Wednesday, July 27 2016 Wednesday, July 27, 2016 11:58:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - One person died after a shooting at Allen Street and LaSalle Place, The shooting took place just before... More >>
15 hours ago July 27, 2016 Jul 27, 2016 Wednesday, July 27 2016 Wednesday, July 27, 2016 11:37:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - KOMU 8's Target 8 investigative team has been fact checking politicans' ad campaigns in preparation for the upcoming... More >>
18 hours ago July 27, 2016 Jul 27, 2016 Wednesday, July 27 2016 Wednesday, July 27, 2016 8:57:00 PM CDT in Target 8
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A former St. Louis police detective who admitted beating a handcuffed suspect faces more than four... More >>
20 hours ago July 27, 2016 Jul 27, 2016 Wednesday, July 27 2016 Wednesday, July 27, 2016 7:12:46 PM CDT in Continuous News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 85°
4pm 88°
5pm 88°
6pm 86°
7pm 85°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

3:00p
The Dr. Oz Show
4:00p
Dr. Phil
5:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 5
3:00p
The Bill Cunningham Show
4:00p
King of the Hill
4:30p
The Cleveland Show

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Running Wild with Bear Grylls
8:00p
Hollywood Game Night
9:00p
NBC News Special: 2016 Democratic National Convention
7:00p
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
8:00p
Beauty and the Beast
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld