Guest commentary: La’s economy benefits from the Export-Import Bank _lowres

Michael Hecht

In regard to the recent article, “Tech company misses goals in first year,” the truth is the DXC Technology project is largely working as it should, and for that, we should all be pleased.

DXC hired 321 workers in its first year, exceeding the goal of 300. And, the salaries of those workers exceeded the wage goal of $63,000 per person. DXC has now hired over 400 people, well on its way to its 2-year goal of 600. Going forward, DXC and Louisiana have a mutual long-term commitment, with a full phase-in goal over three years.

DXC’s higher education partnerships are directly contributing to these hires: UNO, SUNO, Southern, Northshore TCC, Delgado, Southeastern and LSU are benefiting from the $25M of shared investment into their technology capacity, allowing them to hire new staff and create new certificates in subjects like software engineering. UNO’s Tina Chang, who leads Professional and Continuing Education, is right when she calls this partnership “something akin to a crown jewel.”

Moreover, the local and state incentives are also working as they should: rewarding performance, and protecting the public interest. The fact that DXC took a bit longer to hire than originally estimated is reflected in lower incentives now, which can be made up when hiring and payroll goals are later met. The combination of investment in education, along with pay-for-performance, makes the DXC incentive package a smart model.

Finally, the community is benefiting. Thanks to the growth of DXC, along with other new firms like Accruent (75 jobs to date), and home-grown firms like Lucid (200 local jobs) and Levelset (110 local jobs), Greater New Orleans is now the #7th fastest growing tech hub in America, and is ranked No. 5 for African-Americans and No. 7 for women holding those jobs. This growth and “inclusive innovation” is truly encouraging.

Michael Hecht

President and CEO, Greater New Orleans, Inc.

New Orleans