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IBM Teams With Pace University to Bolster Local Technology Talent Pool


Recent Graduates Students Land Coveted Jobs in Banking, Medicine and Consulting Fields

ARMONK, NY - 10 Aug 2006: IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Pace University today announced new dimensions in an initiative to help accelerate information technology skills among students in an effort to drive innovation among Westchester businesses. According to the Empire State Development and the New York State Department of Labor, there are 40,000 IT jobs available in New York today. This program is designed to help prepare students for this booming job market and spur innovation in the local economy.

A recent IBM survey of more than 400 CEOs worldwide found that nearly 75 percent cited deficits in their employees’ job skills as the biggest barrier to growth and innovation. Due to the lack of qualified IT skills in the marketplace, employers nationwide are being faced with increasing difficulties filling technology jobs.

In light of this situation, IBM is working with Pace University to enhance the curricula as part of its Ivan G. Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems to help students develop the skills needed to innovate in today’s fast-changing technology workplace. For example, IBM is helping the university incorporate the study of mainframe, Linux and open standards technologies so that students can achieve formal certificates of training. Since working with IBM to provide the latest IT curriculum, Pace has seen an increase in recruiting and job placements from local companies.

Through this partnership, IBM will also host a series of technology seminars, sponsor faculty education workshops and arrange for IBM professionals to mentor students and provide career advice. To provide students with an inside look into the world of research and development, IBM will arrange for students to visit its laboratories in Poughkeepsie, Yorktown Heights and Hawthorne, New York.

“Each year, there’s an increased demand for qualified and skilled software developers and other technology professionals to support the local economy,” said Dean Susan Merritt, Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, Pace University. “Working with IBM, we’re putting a focus on technology innovation, and helping students build the relevant skills they need to support this effort. By recruiting and developing talent at the University, we are doing our part to close the skills gap.”

IBM is partnering with nearly 2,000 universities and 11,000 faculty members to build technology skills on open source and open standards technologies. Working through the IBM Academic Initiative, IBM is helping Pace and other universities to develop technology talent to serve as new sources of innovation across various industries.

“Pace University has built a solid reputation for academic excellence and its new initiative with IBM gives its computer science school even more credibility,” said Neal Bronzo, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at The Pepsi Bottling Group, Inc., headquartered in Somers, NY. “The interns we recruit from Pace make real contributions to our active IT projects here at PBG. We have hired several of them as full time employees with great results -- so we continue to view Pace as a great source of local IT talent.”

Growing the Relationship with Pace

The Seidenberg School has had a close and long-standing relationship with IBM spanning more than two decades. Since joining IBM’s Academic Initiative in 2005, Pace has held various events, classes and workshops to introduce open standards curricula at the school.

Last fall, IBM surveyed a dozen faculty members at the Seidenberg School to understand what they were interested in teaching in the classroom. The results revealed a need for education tools to teach basic principles of business integration, database management and application development. Based on this feedback, IBM helped Pace adopt new technologies into its programming classes, as well as integrate IBM’s database technology into classes about Database Design -- a key requirement for application development.

IBM’s Academic Initiative is a program offering a wide range of technology education benefits to meet the goals of colleges and universities. As a partner in this initiative, participating schools receive free access to IBM software, discounted hardware, course materials, training and curriculum development.

“We are committed to increasing our collaboration with Pace University to prepare students to be the technology leaders of tomorrow and drive innovation in the New York region,” said Gina Poole, vice president, Innovation and University Relations, IBM. “As the number of IT jobs continues to rise in the United States, it is critical for corporations and universities to team together to accelerate the pace at which skills are developed and new talent enters the job market.”

About IBM
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