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6/22/2010
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IBM Adds 600 Jobs In Oregon For Mortgage Processing

Expanding its presence in the mortgage-software business, IBM plans to add 600 jobs in Oregon, nearly doubling the size of its mortgage-industry workforce there. Oregon, struggling with an unemployment rate of 10.6%, appears to have edged out bids for the jobs from North Carolina and Oklahoma.

Expanding its presence in the mortgage-software business, IBM plans to add 600 jobs in Oregon, nearly doubling the size of its mortgage-industry workforce there. Oregon, struggling with an unemployment rate of 10.6%, appears to have edged out bids for the jobs from North Carolina and Oklahoma.From the website oregonlive.com:

IBM's presence in Oregon dates back to the 1990s. The Beaverton campus includes IBM's Linux Technology Center and other software development work, among other functions. IBM's Beaverton campus is currently home to about 650 employees and Wilshire [Credit Corp.] already has about 710 employees, about half of which are in Salem, Miles said.

The 600 new jobs would be about a 50 percent increase in the combined workforce. About 90 of the new jobs are expected to go to Salem, with the remainder to stay in Beaverton, Miles said.

Wilshire Credit Corp. was acquired by IBM earlier this year from Bank of America Corp. as part of IBM's effort to become more deeply involved in not only the technology supply side of the mortgage industry but also in its complex business processes.

Here's how IBM described its move in a March 1 press release announcing the completion of the deal:

The acquisition strengthens IBM's commitment to mortgage business process services that improve clients' flexibility, competitiveness, and ability to manage their businesses more effectively through dynamic market cycles. As part of the closing process, Bank of America will retain Wilshire's mortgage servicing rights and related assets.

For Oregon and its Salem and Beaverton communities, the announcement of the 600 new jobs has been greeted with great enthusiasm, and again underscores the buyer's market for big tech companies like IBM as they increasingly turn to smaller, low-cost towns around the U.S. for workforce expansion.

From the oregonlive.com article:

State officials since January had been working behind the scenes with IBM representatives about the job creation-and-retention effort. IBM also considered bringing the jobs to Charlotte, N.C., or Tulsa, Okla., said Jill Miles, the state's national recruitment officer.

"We were very pleased," Miles said Monday. "When you get something like this, everything else goes by the wayside and this is your focus, because the return to the state is so great."

Based on the financial details described in the article, Oregon was able to strike a deal with much more favorable terms than other communities around the U.S. have been able to gain in their negotiations with IBM for jobs. The article says that IBM is preparing to invest $12 million in capital improvements and training, while the state and two cities will contribute $350,000 for job training.

In some of IBM's other deals around the U.S., local communities have been willing to invest tens of millions of dollars in tax abatements, job-training programs, infrastructure development, and capital improvements, and you can get more details on that in the "Recommended Reading" list below.

The Beaverton jobs will have salaries ranging from about $35,000 to $50,000, a city spokewoman told oregonlive.com.

IBM declined to respond to that news organization's requests for comment, and state recruitment officer Miles told oregonlive.com that fits IBM's profile: "These guys, they're pretty low key," Miles said. "They're not about the bells and whistles."

RECOMMENDED READING:

IBM Lands $31M In Subsidies For 600 Jobs

IBM Is Hiring In Missouri: 800 Jobs Over 30 Months

IBM Is Hiring In U.S: 100 Vermont Manufacturing Jobs

Global CIO: IBM Iowa's Birthday: IBM Gets $52M, But What Does Iowa Get?

IBM Is Hiring In Detroit: Several Hundred Jobs Over 5 Years?

IBM Adding 240 Jobs In Vermont

Microsoft Is Hiring 500 Cloud Specialists To Battle Google

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