Construction for new IBM Technology Center in downtown Baton Rouge gets underway
POSTED: Thursday, September 26, 2013 - 3:30pm
UPDATED: Thursday, September 26, 2013 - 3:34pm
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — Construction is now underway on the new IBM Technology Center in downtown Baton Rouge.
Governor Jindal and IBM leaders officially broke ground on the $55 million facility which will soon bring 800 jobs to Baton Rouge.
“This historic new technology center operated by IBM will pioneer new innovation and software development right here in Baton Rouge,” Governor Jindal said. “The IBM Services Center will create quality technology career opportunities, allowing us to retain our best and brightest students here at home while also further growing our economy.”
The company’s Baton Rouge operation develops software applications and other business solutions for domestic customers, and IBM represents the single, largest software development project attracted to Louisiana in what is becoming a rapidly expanding sector for the state. Digital media and software development investments by GE Capital, EA, Gameloft and others have been accompanied by major corporate headquarters expansions by CenturyLink and Schumacher Group in the software technology sector.
Baton Rouge Mayor-President Kip Holden said this is just another step in the right direction for the Capital City.
“We are thrilled to see IBM – and the regional partners working with them to make the services center a reality – take another step forward,” he said. “This groundbreaking event is a reminder of the great things happening in our city and we thank IBM for being part of this push to make our city even better.”
For the IBM project, the State of Louisiana will provide $14 million over 10 years to expand higher-education programs designed primarily to increase the number of annual computer science graduates. At least 65 percent of those funds will be provided for expansion of the Computer Science Division of the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at LSU.
As a result, LSU plans to double its computer science faculty and triple the number of computer science graduates in five years, which will place the LSU Computer Science program among the top 10 to 15 programs nationally for the number of bachelor’s degrees in computer science awarded annually. To fast-track growth, LSU’s College of Engineering will launch the “Geaux Digital Louisiana” consortium. A statewide partnership, Geaux Digital Louisiana will engage high schools, community and technical colleges, and other universities to promote interest in computer science-related career fields and to enhance student recruitment.
IBM will work closely with local professors at LSU to create coursework focused on technology, math and software development, equipping students to meet the growing demand for business services in advanced analytics, process innovation and application development.
Click here for additional details about IBM’s Baton Rouge project and its future hiring plans for the IBM Services Center:
Construction is expected to be completed in mid-2015. The IBM technology center has already been operating at its temporary space in an Essen Lane office in Baton Rouge and employs more than 100 people.