Filed Under:  Business

State shells out millions to woo tech company

20th November 2017   ·   0 Comments

On what is being called one of the biggest days ever for economic development in New Orleans and the state, a digital transformation company, spun off of Hewlett-Packard, has announced it has decided to move one of its major operations to the Crescent City. But in order to make that happen, state and local officials had to step up their game and make some concessions that will likely benefit both the economy and the public.

DXC Technology said last week that it will set up shop in an existing building somewhere in the CBD. The company is promising to bring thousands of new jobs to the city, but more importantly it could lay the foundation for a major new technology industry in New Orleans, FOX 8 News reported.

“New technologies, licenses plate readers, facial recognition, a hundred things, and focusing in tools,” Don Pearson with Louisiana Economic Development told FOX 8 News.

On Monday he said DXC Technology will open a digital transformation center in New Orleans within the next year in part because of a commitment from higher education.

“The world of IT changes so rapidly we need people trained in science and technology and data,” DXC vice president Stephen Hilton told FOX 8 News.

The company said it will provide 300 new jobs within a year, paying in excess of $60,000. A trained workforce will be key.

“January is less than 60 days away. We got a lot off work to do,” said University of Louisiana system president Jim Henderson.

Though negotiations with DXC began in earnest 18 months ago, business leaders say the groundwork for this decision was laid a long time ago.

“We have to make sure they have the worker pipeline they need, the people they get in have the right schools, and there are no problems with permitting,” Michael Hecht with GNO Inc. told FOX 8 News.

The city has offered an incentive package of $5 million to $8 million to bring DXC to New Orleans. The state is offering one worth more than $100 million. And the state is offering $25 million to seed new computer science programs.

DXC officials said the company should be up to 2,000 workers within three years. The company is also expected to produce more than 2,200 spinoff jobs, most centered in the Poydras corridor.

Last week’s announcement came as the City of New Orleans continues to try to persuade Amazon to bring a second headquarters to the Crescent City, emphasizing the fact that New Orleans is a port city and a gateway to South America, Central America and the Caribbean.

This article originally published in the November 20, 2017 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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