Columbia's New IBM Workforce
No one will release any specifics yet, but according to Columbia's Regional Economic Development Inc., or REDI, the area's universities were a major factor in bringing IBM to the city.
"Demonstrations from the University of Missouri, Columbia College, Moberly Area Community College, and Linn State, their commitment to help this company meet their employee demands from their graduates of their colleges' and universities' in addition to their willingness to help with customized training was a major part of the reason that the company saw this as a positive place to do business," said Mike Brooks of REDI.
One of IBM's other recent Global Development Centers set up in Lansing, MI currently collaborates closely to it's area university. Michigan State University has an IBM Center on its campus where students are able to work and train first hand with IBM. The University says it has been a positive process thus far.
"Michigan State students getting ready to graduate are finding jobs in the IBM Center, as the placement office works closely with the IBM center right on campus, so it's a win-win for MSU and IBM," said Kurt Weiss of MSU University Relations.
The current university/IBM success in Lansing was a major factor in IBM coming to Columbia. But REDI stresses it was not the only reason.
"In doing the research there are a number of people that are in the system right now, in the Missouri Career Center system, that are looking for employment opportunities in these career fields so that is one of the reasons we feel optimistic that we will be able to meet their hiring demands," said Brooks.
IBM has released five specific areas of interest it is looking to hire. That includes: server interest, systems operations, database management, storage management, and project management. No specific job titles have been released, but REDI says that is how IBM will hire. The company will accept job title-specific resumes.
IBM and the University of Missouri have not yet released how both will collaborate and train but Brooks sees this as a major part of what takes place in the area's secondary education institutions' IT and engineering programs.
"I can tell you, or I believe anyways, that our community colleges will aggressively be trying to increase the ability to do training and program development for individuals that would be likely candidates for these jobs. I think you are going to see an increase in the number of individuals that are interested in getting degrees in these types of areas," said Brooks.
REDI says this will be a long term process for the community and though the hiring rush is what is at the forefront now, IBM will be a business that will be around for years to come that will regularly need to hire to fill its needs just as any other business.
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