IBM has begun to hire some of the 800 technology workers it plans to add over the next four years to staff its new services center in Baton Rouge, La. IBM LogoThe IBM Services Center: Baton Rouge will provide software development and maintenance services to customers in the U.S. Specifically, workers there will handle app development and app management, as well as systems integration. Currently, IBM is looking for app developers from entry-level to experienced veterans, and advisory app developers. Over time, the company will add professionals to handle application management and systems integration. Big Blue has scheduled a job fair for April 23 at the Baton Rouge Marriott. The facility is expected to be finished by spring 2015. In the meantime, IBM will lease local office space. The center is part of a public-private partnership with Louisiana's Economic Development Department and Louisiana State University. LED is providing performance-based incentive grants totaling $29.5 million over a 12-year period to cover costs for recruiting personnel, internal training, operating expenses and other workforce-related efforts. Meantime, IBM will offer advice to LSU's computer science professors regarding curricula covering advanced analytics, process innovation and application development. In seeking candidates, IBM will be teaming up with LED's recruitment support system, LED FastStart, and the state's Quality Jobs program. The area's business community is solidly behind the efforts. "This new technology center has the potential to transform the region into a software development hub, which is one of our region's targeted sectors," said Adam Knapp, chief executive of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber of Commerce.