Bringing IBM to Buffalo was meant to create good-paying jobs and develop a technology hub downtown.

Three years ago, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the state would spend $55 million on equipment and office space for the company to set up a “center for cutting-edge software development.” In exchange, IBM and its partners agreed to create 500 jobs over five years.

State officials made the point over and over: these would be good-paying, high-tech jobs.

But many of the employees in IBM’s Buffalo office, at least so far, are working in low-skilled, relatively low-paying, call center jobs.

Most of them don’t actually work for IBM, but are employed by staffing agencies or subcontractors. They make less than IBM employees, receive less generous benefits and have far less opportunity for promotion, according to seven current and former IBM employees and contractors who asked not to be named for fear of retaliation.

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