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For more than 100 years, IBM’s story has been deeply linked to major milestones in American history. Our U.S. investments have led to groundbreaking innovations, from helping send men to the moon on the Apollo missions or creating first-of-their-kind cognitive systems that are helping the US lead the fight against cancer, disease, and epidemics.
IBM’s imprint can be felt in every US household — from the technology that pioneered the laptop computer that sits in your living room, to the bar code that rang in your last purchase at the grocery store. Our commitment to research and development in the United States has been unwavering over the years. IBM invests billions of dollars annually in R&D in the United States, and that investment bears fruit. In 2016 alone, IBM was awarded a record-setting 8,088 U.S. patents — marking the 24th straight year we’ve been the country’s leading recipient of patents. Each of these innovations represent a step toward America’s technological future. And the reach of IBM R&D investments may be felt in places you wouldn’t expect. For example, it was a group of IBM researchers who in the 1980’s discovered a new surgical technique that would pave the way for LASIK eye surgery, helping millions in the US and worldwide enjoy the gift of better sight.
Since our founding in 1911, IBM has grown to be one of America’s largest technology employers with major operations in dozens of U.S. cities. Investments in our U.S. workforce are critical to our company’s long-term success, which is why we plan to hire 25,000 U.S. workers over the next four years, including 2,000 veterans of America’s armed services.
Many of the new roles being created at IBM will be new collar jobs — positions which do not always require a traditional bachelor’s degree -which are bringing high-skilled careers to communities historically underserved by the tech industry. These are roles in innovative, demanding industries that are tackling some of business and society’s most pressing challenges. Sean Bridges, for example, is a new collar IBMer in Rocket Center, West Virginia. Sean joined IBM working on the tech service desk, and used his interest in computers and technology to teach himself the skills he needed to move up to a role as a cybersecurity analyst.
IBM will continue to bring in more IBMers like Sean so we can make the greatest possible impact on our business and communities. Our commitment to the United States’ technology future, however, extends beyond just hiring. Over the next four years, we also will invest $1 billion in training and development programs for our U.S. workforce, because we know that the advancement of 21st century technologies like artificial intelligence and cloud computing will require a workforce trained in next generation skills.
We’ve invested in creating and expanding modern education programs like P-TECH, an innovative approach that brings industry partners together with public high schools and community colleges to create skills education programs that are directly aligned with promising jobs available in their communities. The first P-TECH program was established in New York with support from IBM in 2011 — and by the end of this year, we’re on track to have 80 P-TECH schools in place across the country.
Finally, IBM will continue to be a major U.S. exporter, helping drive the American economy and advance our country’s competitive edge. IBM exports about $12 billion annually in goods and services from the U.S. to over 120 countries, including $5 billion in software, making us one of the country’s largest software exporters.
IBM is proud of the role we’ve played in America’s story for the past 106 years, and we’re committed to continuing to invest, innovate and hire here to drive the next era of U.S. innovation.
-Christopher A. Padilla, Vice President, Government and Regulatory Affairs
Click here to download the the infographic on IBM’s investment in America.