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IBM's Rometty Announces 25,000 'New Collar' US Jobs Ahead of Trump Meeting

Mitch Wagner
12/14/2016
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IBM plans to hire 25,000 "new collar" positions over the next four years -- 6,000 of them in 2017 -- and invest $1 billion in training and development of US employees, CEO Ginni Rometty said in an editorial in USA Today Tuesday afternoon.

The statement came as Rometty and other tech CEOs plan to meet with President-elect Donald Trump Wednesday, with jobs reportedly at the top of the agenda. (See Change Agent Orange? Tech to Talk to Trump.)

"This is not about white collar vs. blue collar jobs, but about the 'new collar' jobs that employers in many industries demand, but which remain largely unfilled," Rometty says.

Employers just can't find people to fill jobs, Rometty says. For example, there are more than half a million open jobs in tech sectors in the US, according to the Department of Labor, Rometty says. IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) has thousands of open positions at any time.

She name-checked data science and the cloud as two areas where need is particularly acute.

IBM has identified the cloud as one of a cluster of emerging technologies on which it's staking its future -- "strategic imperatives" which also include analytics, mobile, and security. Those businesses are growing even as IBM's traditional business declines. (See Cloud Rises But Overall Revenue Down for IBM.)

"We are hiring because the nature of work is evolving -- and that is also why so many of these jobs remain hard to fill," Rometty said. "As industries from manufacturing to agriculture are reshaped by data science and cloud computing, jobs are being created that demand new skills -- which in turn requires new approaches to education, training and recruiting."


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While some of these jobs require advanced education, others don't require a traditional college degree, Rometty says. She gives IBM credit for "a new educational model that many other companies have embraced -- six-year public high schools combining a relevant traditional curriculum with necessary skills from community colleges, mentoring and real-world job experience."

IBM had nearly 378,000 employees at the end of 2015, and has been shedding US workers, according to Reuters.

Jobs will be at the top of the agenda for the meeting with Trump, which includes Rometty, Tesla's Elon Musk, Alphabet's Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, Apple's Timothy Cook, Microsoft's Satya Nadella, Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg, Oracle's Safra Catz, Intel's Brian Krzanich, and Cisco's Chuck Robbins.

— Mitch Wagner, Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor, Light Reading Enterprise Cloud

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mendyk
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mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/14/2016 | 2:49:53 PM
Re: Going Collarless
Plus, people with college degrees seem to think they are entitled to a livable wage.
Ray@LR
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Ray@LR,
User Rank: Blogger
12/14/2016 | 2:30:30 PM
Re: tech meetings
I think you'll find this is WAY more serious... from about 2 mins... Ali G pitches the real Donald Trump a new busines idea... TRump doesn't hang around long...

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQAuIZ3_W1s
Alison_ Diana
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Alison_ Diana,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/14/2016 | 2:25:37 PM
Going Collarless
Kudos to Rometty for publicly stating that many jobs don't require college degrees. In their quest for employees in areas such as big data, analytics, security, etc., a large number of service providers, enterprises and other businesses are recruiting internally from other departments. While these folk may well have degrees, they're typically not in the subjects of these new careers; training comes on-the-job, online and/or company-led classes. 

I'm not bashing college degrees. I loved my college years and sometimes wish I'd pursued a higher degree - perhaps one day... But in a rapidly changing environment like tech, especially in today's world where tech HAS to integrate tightly with business, what you learn for and from work often is far more important than the results of a two- or four-year degree. 

Businesses should work more closely with high schools (and middle schools). My local school district forces kids to choose a 'career track' in 9th grade, already separating those who are college-bound vs. those whose futures most likely don't include more formal education. That's the time we need to show teens about the many opportunities available to them, with and without, four more years of college.
mendyk
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mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/14/2016 | 12:13:53 PM
Re: tech meetings
The face-to-face with Kanye is about as serious as this stuff is going to get.
mrobuck
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mrobuck,
User Rank: Moderator
12/14/2016 | 11:12:54 AM
tech meetings
Oh to be a fly on the wall during some of those meetings Trump has today. Are they for show or is he actually making an effort to understand tech? 
mendyk
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mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/14/2016 | 10:14:22 AM
two minus one equals three
It's always a treat to watch C-level types work their arithmetic magic.
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