"Today represents an important step in demonstrating the power of public-private partnerships to build the next generation workforce and drive economic growth," said Colleen Arnold, Senior Vice President, IBM Global Business Services. "As IBM continues to grow in Baton Rouge, we will continue to meet our client's evolving needs around Big Data, mobile, social business and cloud."
The Baton Rouge center will provide IBM clients in the United States with solutions that address the increasing demand for flexible software services to keep up with Big Data cloud and mobile requirements that they are facing. IBM Services Center: Baton Rouge will deliver technology services that include application development, application management and system integration.
"This is a great day for the City of Baton Rouge," said Mayor-President Melvin "Kip" Holden of Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parish. "We are thrilled to see IBM - and the regional partners working with them to make the services center a reality - take another step forward. 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."
Also joining Gov. Jindal for the groundbreaking event were Mayor-President Kip Holden, LSU Provost Stuart Bell, LED Secretary Stephen Moret, LSU College of Engineering Dean Richard Koubek, Baton Rouge Area Foundation CEO John Davies and Baton Rouge Area Chamber President and CEO Adam Knapp.
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.