IBM job fair attracts local talent in Dubuque - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

IBM job fair attracts local talent in Dubuque

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IBM held a job fair Wednesday at the Grand River Center in Dubuque IBM held a job fair Wednesday at the Grand River Center in Dubuque
DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

Three years after IBM started hiring for its new location in Dubuque, it held another public outreach with a job fair Wednesday afternoon.

IBM opened its Dubuque Service Delivery Center in the summer of 2009, promising to fill 1,300 jobs by the end of 2010.

Tom Coffas is director of the IBM Dubuque Service Delivery Center and said Wednesday's job fair is not part of that goal.

"We've met that goal and we're moving on," Coffas said. "This is just constantly trying to find great talent to bring it in to the building, so it's not a number that we have to meet as much as wanting to find great candidates to continue to meet our customers' needs."

He said the company has dozens of openings in Dubuque, and the jobs' salaries depend on the position and applicant's experience.

"At IBM, we always market jobs nationally, using the IBM Websites, etcetera, but we want to hire people locally whenever we can find them, so this is one of those efforts," Coffas said.

That's good news for Sue Jin, a 21-year-old international student at the University of Dubuque, who is seeking a job at IBM.

"I'm a little bit nervous," she said, laughing, in the lobby of the Grand River Center, where IBM held the fair.

She grew up in China, she said, but Dubuque is where she wants to stay, "because I grew up in a small city, and I left home for five years in the big cities, and I'm sick of that, so I still want to stay in small city."

She plans on graduating in July with her masters degree in business.

"I want to stay here and plan a job here and spend rest of my life here," Jin said.

Coffas said it can be difficult finding the number of people locally with the technical backgrounds IBM needs.

"It's a challenge in a smaller town, but we're meeting that need by bringing people in the entry level technical jobs and giving them the training inside, once they're in IBM," Coffas said.

He added open jobs range from technical positions to spots on the management and business end of the spectrum.

The job fair ended at 7 p.m. Wednesday, but the hiring did not. Coffas said IBM lists open positions on its Website and on local jobs site AccessDubuque.com

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