Nixon Talks Job Numbers at IBM

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COLUMBIA - Governor Nixon presented the Flag of Freedom Award to IBM Friday morning to recognize their participation in the Show-Me Heroes Program. The Show-Me Heroes program is a jobs initiative to help veterans become employed as they return home from duty.

With the Missouri unemployment rate at 6.5% and the Boone County unemployment rate drastically lower than the state rate at 3.8% , the question of job placement is still relevant.

3,452 employers have taken a pledge within the program to help promote employment for job seeking veterans and 5,102 veterans have been hired by the Show-Me Heroes employers. In February of 2012, KOMU 8 reported IBM refused to release job numbers following their deadline of initially hiring 800 people by the end of 2012.

KOMU  learned when the company signed a contract with the state, it agreed to hire 600 people by the end of 2015, which was not publicized as widely. Because of the projected job numbers, the state offered IBM $28 million in tax credits and job training funds.

At the Flag of Freedom recognition, IBM said 12.5% of their current workforce are veterans. They would not release how many people are currently employed at the Delivery Center. Jim Chapdelain, IBM Director of the Columbia Delivery Center did acknowledge the employment numbers they currently have are lower than the initially proposed 800 that was promised. 

"I'm anticipating that we'll be at that number probably at the end of 2014. But we have met all of our numbers that were originally part of the incentive program here in the state and we appreciate what Governor Jay Nixon and what Mayor Darwin Hyman had done originally," Chapdelaine said.

The Show-Me Heroes program hopes to attain more pledges and to increase the number of veterans hired.