Innovista gets first-of-its-kind specialized computer training program

Eleven companies, universities and other organizations will participate in a partnership to do research and train specialists on mainframe computers in a first-in-the-nation program announced today for USC’s Innovista research campus.

Headed by BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and IBM, the Consortium for Enter-prise Systems Management would also include Clemson University, Furman University and UNC-Charlotte as well as private firms.

The consortium is the first private tenant in USC struggling research campus. It will occupy two floors and more than 14,000 square feet in the Horizon II building to be built at the corner of Blossom and Assembly Streets on Columbia. The consortium will pay $23 a square foot -- the going rate -- Innovista executive director John Parks said.

BlueCross CEO Ed Sellers said he anticipates more companies coming forward to partner in the consortium because of a lack of specialists in main frame computing, which is used by insurance companies, financial institutions and others.

“We all have a common problem,” he said. “We need to have a pipeline of talent that we can hire. The more (companies involved) the merrier.”