Audrey Spalding
Looking for work in Columbia? If job promises are to be believed, it may be time to give the overly subsidized IBM service center in Columbia a call.

You may remember the IBM facility from news accounts in 2010, when the Columbia Missourian reported that state and local government had lined up an impressive subsidy package for IBM. It entailed more than $30 million in state and local tax subsidies, including a big exemption on local personal property taxes, and millions in state tax credits. The City of Columbia actually bought IBM's building for $3 million and is leasing it to the company for just a $1 a year, meaning that the company is not paying property taxes on the building.

In exchange, IBM promised to bring  800 new jobs to the facility within three years, and is required to bring in at least 600.

According to the latest reports, IBM had 349 employees at its Columbia service center during the last months of 2011. But company officials promise that they are on track to have 800 new hires by the end of 2012. In order to hire the remaining 451 employees, IBM should be hiring at least one new employee every day, including weekends and holidays.

The IBM service center in Columbia could be a promising lead for those looking for work. After all, when all the state and local subsidies are accounted for, Missouri taxpayers will have subsidized IBM's Columbia operation to the tune of nearly $40,000 for each job. Collecting a paycheck from the company is one way to try and recoup your tax dollars.

About the Author

Audrey Spalding