MONROE, La. and ARMONK, N.Y., Feb. 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM), CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) and the State of Louisiana today announced an innovative public-private partnership that will create high-value, high-tech jobs in Louisiana and fuel the talent demands of the digital economy.
As part of a 10-year business transformation agreement between IBM and CenturyLink, IBM will open and staff the new applications development innovation center in Monroe, creating at least 400 new roles for experienced professionals and drawing heavily on graduates from the state's colleges and universities.
The rapid adoption of mobile and social technologies over recent years is driving fundamental transformations to business processes and applications. The center will provide IBM's clients with services that address the increasing demand for flexible software services to create value from big data, cloud computing and mobile-led business transformation.
"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 gave birth to IBM's technology center in downtown Baton Rouge," said Governor Bobby Jindal. "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. This innovative partnership represents a big win that will bring about more business opportunities for generations to come."
In addition to the 400 direct jobs that will be created at the center, Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in approximately 400 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 800 new permanent jobs in Northeast Louisiana.
Additionally, IBM will work closely with local professors to recommend curricular innovations focused on technology, math and software development, and equip students to meet the growing demand for business services, including advanced analytics, process innovation and application development.
"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."
"As CenturyLink continues to grow in the United States and around the world, we are committed to expanding our operations in Northeast Louisiana," said Glen Post, CEO and president of CenturyLink. "In March, we will officially open the CenturyLink Technology Center of Excellence in Monroe, and strategic partnerships like this one with IBM advance our goals for the Center, our company and our community. Our partnership with IBM enables IBM and CenturyLink to work together to grow both of our companies and support the communities where our employees live and work."
The State of Louisiana is providing $4.5 million in funding over 10 years to expand key higher education programs, including the computer science program at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, the cyber engineering program at Louisiana Tech, and the data analytics program at Grambling State University. In addition, the State will provide $12 million for construction of new office space for the use of IBM, which will become an anchor tenant of a privately developed mixed-use complex.
The center in Monroe is the second IBM center in Louisiana, modeled on a highly successful IBM skills hub in Baton Rouge in 2013. Both centers are part of IBM's globally integrated network of client service centers, delivering deep industry and technical expertise to IBM clients worldwide.
The partnership will include formal internships with IBM and additional CenturyLink internships for students in the targeted universities. Additionally, IBM will work with the Louisiana Economic Development FastStart® program on recruiting initiatives, including campus events in Louisiana and neighboring states as well as via social media, alumni events and the development of recruiting materials.
For more about IBM Global Business Services, visit http://www-935.ibm.com/services/us/gbs/consulting/.
For more information about IBM jobs in Louisiana, visit http://ibmmonroejobs.com/
CenturyLink is the third largest telecommunications company in the United States and is recognized as a leader in the network services market by technology industry analyst firms. The company is a global leader in cloud infrastructure and hosted IT solutions for enterprise customers. CenturyLink provides data, voice and managed services in local, national and select international markets through its high-quality advanced fiber optic network and multiple data centers for businesses and consumers. The company also offers advanced entertainment services under the CenturyLink® Prism™ TV and DIRECTV brands. Headquartered in Monroe, La., CenturyLink is an S&P 500 company and is included among the Fortune 500 list of America's largest corporations. For more information, visit www.centurylink.com.
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