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IBM to Create 400 Jobs in Monroe

 IBM will create 400 new jobs in Monroe during the next 10 years.

Gov. Bobby Jindal says the state also will provide $4.5 million in higher education funding at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, Louisiana Tech University and Grambling State University to create more computer science graduates to meet workforce needs.

IBM's service center, which will be built on U.S. Highway 165 North across from CenturyLink's headquarters, will serve both CenturyLink and other customers.

"We’re proud to be part of this innovative public-private partnership with the State of Louisiana and CenturyLink to further develop highly valued skills and solutions expertise in security, analytics and mobility applications,” said Colleen Arnold, senior vice president, IBM Sales and Distribution. “Louisiana is the right place for high-tech job growth with an exceptional education system, business environment and workforce to serve the needs of our clients.”

The new facility will be the base from which the company will provide software technology services to clients across the United States, including CenturyLink, the third largest telecommunications company in the nation. IBM also will partner with CenturyLink on research, development and product innovation initiatives.

“CenturyLink’s partnership with IBM aligns our Information Technology investments with our strategic growth initiatives,” said Glen Post, CenturyLink CEO and president. “It also supports our companywide transformation to an Internet Protocol, or IP-based, infrastructure. In addition, this initiative supports CenturyLink’s commitment to bring technology-based jobs to Louisiana and improve our workforce development and education climate. We appreciate our partnership with IBM and are glad we’ve been able to be a catalyst for their expansion plans in Monroe.”

The IBM center in Monroe represents a partnership that will include expanded higher-education programs related to computer science, as well as a major new technology park and mixed-use, real estate development. The deal will be a catalyst for new economic growth opportunities in Monroe. “Two of the most successful economic development projects we’ve embarked upon in recent years are the multiple corporate headquarters expansion projects by CenturyLink in Monroe and the innovative public-private partnerships that created IBM’s technology center in downtown Baton Rouge. This project replicates those successes by combining two of the leading technology companies in the world in a partnership that will pay great dividends for the community and the economic future of Monroe, the Northeast Region and our entire state.” said Governor Bobby Jindal.

The IBM center will employ a broad range of college graduates and professionals with backgrounds in computer science and other quantitative-intense fields, such as engineering, mathematics and science. In addition to the 400 direct jobs that will be created at the center, LED estimates the project will result in approximately 406 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 800 new permanent jobs in Northeast Louisiana.

The IBM center in Monroe will anchor a new 88-acre, mixed-use development, employing smart-growth principles. The preliminary concept rendering (right) shows a complementary mix of residential, commercial and recreational uses. The new development will be located along U.S. Highway 165 directly across from CenturyLink’s corporate headquarters. Following a competitive selection process, CenturyLink chose developer Robert Daigle, who built the successful River Ranch traditional neighborhood development near Lafayette. Daigle will guide the development of the master-planned community to be build on land owned by CenturyLink. The State of Louisiana will provide $12 million for construction of new office space for use by IBM, which will become an anchor tenant of the privately developed mixed-use complex. According to a press release from the North Louisiana Economic Partership, a University of Louisiana at Monroe foundation will own the IBM space and lease that space to the company.

Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo said the announcement continues to elevate Monroe as one of the top small cities in the state and the nation.

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