The expansion into New Orleans of a big national technology company is welcome news anytime, as Louisiana continues to grow its national footprint in the knowledge economy.
It's particularly good news, though, for three reasons mentioned by a happy Gov. John Bel Edwards: "With this project, Louisiana gains a next-generation leader in global technology services, our college graduates will find unprecedented job opportunities at home, and New Orleans will welcome a landmark project to elevate its economy as the city celebrates its Tricentennial next year.”
All good, so we join the governor and mayor and business leaders in welcoming the Virginia-based firm, DXC Technology, providing technology and consulting services for businesses and governments. It formed this year as the result of a merger of CSC and the Enterprise Services business of Hewlett Packard Enterprises. The office plans to employ eventually 2,000, probably in a downtown tower, although the location has yet to be announced.
The announcement is not the first big win for Louisiana's decadelong quest to become part of the technology economy. Under Govs. Kathleen Blanco, Bobby Jindal and Edwards, economic development officials have targeted such companies and generated real returns: Electronic Arts on LSU's campus and then IBM in downtown Baton Rouge and CGI in Lafayette. GE Capital was a big win five years ago for the Crescent City. There are also homegrown companies like CenturyLink in Monroe, which began as a tiny telephone company and is now a big player in technology.
As with all big job announcements, there is also a generous helping of state incentives that have become par for the development course. They total about $120 million, or less than the company's expected annual payroll if it grows as expected through 2024.
Some of the incentives are not so typical. The company will get hiring assistance from the state's highly regarded FastStart recruitment program. Louisiana government will also put up $25 million for universities for computer science and other programs related to the new company's workforce. For the future, we hope that the state and private donors will invest further in colleges and universities in the region and throughout Louisiana.
This is a big jobs deal. It can also be a game-changer for New Orleans, providing one of the biggest payrolls in the city in the sought-after tech sector. Mayor Mitch Landrieu is right to acclaim it as a validation of the city's recovery from the desperate days of 2005, but it is also a talisman of the future: The combination of culture and quality of life with tech-savvy workers can mean much to New Orleans with DXC, but also help lure other companies.
We congratulate the state's economic development team for making it happen.