Gov. Jay Nixon today joined company and community leaders in Columbia to cut the ribbon on IBM's new technology services delivery center, which is creating 800 new jobs in central Missouri. The company has begun hiring employees for the new center, which will provide information technology services to IBM's vast network of clients.
"There is no bigger, or more respected, name in the global information systems industry than IBM, and the company's tremendous investment here in central Missouri is another indication of our state's unmistakable economic momentum," Gov. Nixon said. "Over the past year, we've seen the creation of thousands of new jobs in every corner of Missouri by major corporations and small businesses alike. Missouri's economy clearly is moving forward, and this is one more sign of that progress."
Today's ribbon-cutting comes during the same week that the Missouri Department of Economic Development announced that the state's unemployment rate in April dropped to its lowest figure in two years, down to 8.9 percent. The state added nearly 27,000 new jobs in the months of March and April combined. Missouri's international exports are also up 18 percent thus far in 2011, after increasing by an impressive 35 percent during 2010.
IBM's new service delivery center in Columbia will primarily support the corporation's U.S. strategic outsourcing clients, providing server systems operations and project management and security services, including maintenance and monitoring of computer hardware and software systems. Employees will manage the servers and storage systems that are critical for assuring optimal information technology performance for IBM clients. The company plans to have the hiring of the 800 new employees completed by the end of 2012.
To help IBM move ahead with its plan to locate the new center in Columbia, the state of Missouri authorized an economic incentive package worth $31.2 million to the company, which can be redeemed by the company over the next five years provided it meets the requirements of each incentive program.