Columbia Welcomes IBM
IBM will create a data center on LeMone Industrial Boulevard. It will provide up to 800 jobs. Although jobs vary they're all technical. The average annual salary for the jobs is $50,000. After four months of negotiations Columbia will join 80 other cities with strategy centers. Although this is big news for Columbia's economy it almost didn't happen.
"Originally we tried to get this project and it was known as Chip and we lost it to Dubuque," said John States of Dixie Construction. "But when we got the call on this one we said it's staying in Columbia."
Another similar data center is in Lansing, Mich.
The effort was called "Project Tiger." The data center could emerge as one of Boone County's largest private employers. The state is offering IBM more than $28 million in tax incentives to come to Missouri. The technology services delivery center will be the company's third new U.S. site in the past 18 months.
Gov. Jay Nixon said the future of the economy is all about technology and Missouri has to keep up. Nixon said IBM's IT center will be located off LeMone Industrial Boulevard. Nixon said it will be crucial to Missouri in the 21st century. Nixon also said the technology center will help the government live up to its responsibility to taxpayers to ensure a return on investment on taxpayer programs.
Senior Vice President Services Delivery Tim Shaugnessey said the company chose to build the site in Columbia because of the city's competitive business model along with its talented and educated workforce. An IBM official also said the center will offer high-value information technology services to clients across the U.S.
The state of Missouri awarded IBM $8.6 million in Missouri BUILD and $14.7 million in Quality Jobs program incentives. Both programs provide incentives to businesses that create a predetermined number of jobs, among other qualifications. The state?s incentive package also includes $4.2 million in New Jobs Training funding, $300,000 in Customized Training funding and $412,500 in Employee Recruitment and Referral Savings funding.
IBM also plans to train MU students in technology careers.
You can see links to more information about applying for IBM jobs to the left of this article. You can watch a portion of the speech by clicking on the video at the bottom of this page.