Officials with IBM made a major economic development announcement Monday afternoon; promising 800 new high tech jobs for the Mid-Missouri area.

Tim Shaughnessy, Senior Vice President of Service Delivery for IBM Global Technology Services, says the company selected Columbia for the site for a new delivery service center for several reasons.

“First, the strong sense of public-private partnership that we saw here in Columbia, which is really focused on, ‘How do we make both communities and businesses prosper?’ Secondly, a very competitive business model, which is very appealing and very attractive to us. Thirdly, and particularly so in our business, the very talented work force that we witness here in Columbia and the very educated and dedicated Midwest work ethic that we saw here. Very compelling reasons for us,” Shaughnessy said.

Local officials and Governor Jay Nixon were also on hand for the event. Nixon said the announcement is the result of several months of behind-the-scenes work involving several state and local economic incentives that helped to bring IBM to the table.

“The state’s package of incentives to the company includes $14.7 million in Missouri Quality Jobs incentive programs, $8.6 million in Missouri Build program incentives and $4.5 million in worker training funding. IBM’s new facility here in Columbia is an example of how our strategic incentives should work. A global company has chosen to open a new facility right here in Mid-Missouri. Folks, that’s exactly the kind of return on investment we’re talking about,” Nixon said.

Operations are expected to begin around November, with IBM set to start hiring for positions this summer.