Louisiana Tech continues to support state’s high-tech workforce growth, opportunities

Feb 17, 2015 | General News

— IBM becomes latest global IT leader looking to Louisiana Tech for talent and expertise —
IBM, an industry leader in integrated technology and computing consulting and development, is the latest global IT corporation to turn its sights toward Louisiana Tech University to find its next generation of high-tech talent and to grow its computer science and cyber engineering workforce.
Louisiana Tech, along with the University of Louisiana at Monroe and Grambling State University, will contribute to filling 400 new computer science-related jobs for IBM and its partnership with CenturyLink, over the next ten years. In support of the universities and their academic programs, Governor Bobby Jindal has committed $4.5 million to help produce the graduates needed to fill the workforce pipeline. Louisiana Tech will receive approximately $1 million of the total funding.
Louisiana Tech President Les Guice (far left) listens to CenturyLink CEO Glen Post during Monday's announcement of new IBM partnership and service center.

Louisiana Tech President Les Guice (far left) listens to CenturyLink CEO Glen Post during Monday’s announcement of new IBM partnership and service center.

The official announcement of IBM’s partnership with CenturyLink and the universities was made Monday at CenturyLink’s headquarters in Monroe.
“Creating partnerships with global IT companies like IBM and CenturyLink offers Louisiana Tech exceptional opportunities to enrich its students and prepare them for career success,” said Louisiana Tech President Les Guice. “These relationships make it possible for Louisiana Tech to align its program curricula with the needs of the industries that our graduates will serve.
“Glen Post and CenturyLink have provided outstanding vision and leadership in creating an economic climate in north Louisiana that has become highly attractive to companies around the world. I congratulate them on this announcement and look forward to continuing our work together.”
Over the past several years, Louisiana Tech and CenturyLink have collaborated on a number of academic and business development initiatives. Louisiana Tech developed a graduate certificate program in communications systems specifically for CenturyLink employees with general responsibilities and interests in telecommunications engineering, information technology or information systems. Louisiana Tech and CenturyLink also hold memberships in IT-related consortiums that seek to capitalize on the collective strengths of academic, industry and government research and expertise.
Guice says that public-private partnerships such as these, along with the financial support provided by the Governor, have become a keystone in the growth of Louisiana Tech students and the university’s contributions to the region.
“Many of our degree programs such as computer science, cyber engineering, computer information systems and various business concentrations, from the bachelor’s level through Ph.D., play an essential role in supporting CenturyLink and IBM, and the future companies they will attract to north Louisiana.”
CenturyLink, who relies on Louisiana Tech to produce many of its IT and computer science professionals, will transition a number of its employees to full-time IBM positions. In addition to the workforce impacts, IBM will build a service center adjacent to CenturyLink’s headquarters to serve the needs of both companies. The center will employ a broad range of college graduates and experienced professionals with backgrounds in computer science and other quantitative-intense fields, such as engineering, mathematics and science.
On the academic side, IBM and CenturyLink will continue their work with Louisiana Tech faculty to develop curricular innovations focused on technology, math and software development, and equip students to meet the growing demand for business services.
“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,” said Colleen Arnold, senior vice president for IBM Sales and Distribution.
Using its academic and certificate program strengths, Louisiana Tech will produce graduates for IBM, CenturyLink, and other companies that have brought over 2,000 IT-related jobs to the I-20 corridor in the past few years. Concurrently, these partnerships provide excellent opportunities for Louisiana Tech graduates to build long-term careers with global IT companies here in north Louisiana, while greatly expanding the state’s knowledge and innovation economy.