Gov. Bobby Jindal and IBM Senior Vice President Colleen Arnold announced Wednesday the start of IBM Services Center: Baton Rouge, a new technology center that will be built in downtown Baton Rouge and create 800 new jobs.
IBM Services Center: Baton Rouge will present career opportunities for computer science, science, technology and engineering professionals and college graduates. In a news release, the University estimated 542 indirect jobs and a total of about 1,342 jobs would be created in the area.
Interim System President and Chancellor William “Bill” Jenkins said the IBM-LSU program will provide job and educational opportunities.
“The state wants to expand its economic base, and this partnership demonstrates that LSU can fulfill that workforce need of that future economy,” Jenkins said in a news release.
The center was developed through public and private partnerships to expand higher-education STEM and computer science programs and to economically revive downtown Baton Rouge.
According to a news release from Louisiana Economic Development, the state will provide $14 million over 10 years to increase the number of computer science graduates at the University. About 65 percent of the funding will come from the computer science division of the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
The University’s computer science program is aiming to double its faculty and triple its graduates.
Additionally, the College of Engineering is launching the Geaux Digital Louisiana consortium to promote technology and innovation.
“The public-private partnership with Louisiana Economic Development, IBM and LSU is a powerful example of the triangulation between industry, government and academia that elevates the state’s role as a national leader in economic development,” said College of Engineering Dean Richard Koubek in the release.
Gov. Bobby Jindal said the center will help Louisiana students compete with students internationally and ensure their skills are top-tier.
“The historic partnership will help drive major economic activity and extraordinary professional and student achievement. Indeed, this investment is a big win for LSU, Baton Rouge and our entire state because it means we can make sure our students can find good-paying jobs here at home,” Jindal said in a statement.
Louisiana Economic Development offered IBM $29.5 million over 12 years and a $1.5 million contribution from the city of Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parish for costs such as personnel recruitment and relocation costs.