IBM executive says company will keep employment promise
BATON ROUGE - IBM received a taxpayer-funded deal to come to Baton Rouge six years ago but so far has yet to meet its end of the bargain. An executive with the company says that's about to change.
"We're on track with our hiring and we stand by our commitment," said Charles Masters, the vice president of North American client innovations centers, who is based in Baton Rouge.
In 2013 the company promised to hire 800 full time employees in exchange for more than $100 million in taxpayer-funded incentives to locate in the capital city. After failing to meet that goal in 2017, the state extended the deadline to June 30, 2019.
The company will be fined $10,000 for every worker it lacks after that date.
"The last couple of months we've launched a couple of programs that have accelerated our hiring," said Masters.
IBM opened its taxpayer-funded office building in downtown Baton Rouge Wednesday evening for an "open house." The company showcased its day-to-day operations, which involves teams of technicians solving digital problems for other large companies.
The company is also investing in area schools with programs that offer college credits for students in high school.