DXC Technology aims to kickstart ‘evolution of talent’ from New Orleans
By: Jennifer Larino | NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune | 11/13/2017
Stephen Hilton, executive vice president of DXC Technology, has a pretty simple answer for why his company is opening a new “digital transformation center” in New Orleans that will eventually employ 2,000 workers — it all comes down to “people, people, people.”
Hilton joined Gov. John Bel Edwards and other state and local officials at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Monday afternoon (Nov. 13) to announce the development. He explained how three groups of Louisianians made the deal a reality.
State and local economic development teams met with the company and worked “tirelessly, listening to requirements and providing support,” Hilton said. Those teams ranged from Louisiana Economic Development and Greater New Orleans Inc. to city officials and local business leaders.
There were also the school leaders behind Louisiana’s public universities and technical colleges, who have promised to work with DXC to develop curriculum, attract faculty and train future technology workers.
Finally, Hilton pointed to the people of New Orleans, the people from which DXC intends to hire software developers, engineers, consultants, managers and administrators.
“IT services is a highly competitive industry. We work hard. We see that same trait in many of the young people who we interview and speak to in New Orleans,” Hilton said.
In an interview, DCX leaders touched on many of the same factors that have been responsible for recent tech wins, including the city’s unique culture, its ability to attract young people, low costs and a pro-business environment. But they repeatedly pointed to human capital as the greatest asset New Orleans has to offer the growing company.
DXC Technology formed in April after Hewlett Packard Enterprises spun out its enterprise services business and merged it with Computer Sciences Corp., known as CSC. It employs 170,000 and works with more than 6,000 clients worldwide. Under the plan announced Monday, New Orleans will be one of the company’s major hubs, and a “blueprint for how we transform DXC’s workforce,” Hilton said.
Elcio Barcelos, the company’s senior vice president of human resources, points to DXC’s plans to work closely with state colleges and universities, including the Louisiana State University, University of Louisiana and community and technical college systems.
Among state incentives, the deal includes $25 million in state funds set aside for grants to Louisiana campuses. The money will be used to hire faculty, write curriculum and create other instructional resources to meet DXC’s workforce needs.
Barcelos said New Orleans’ ability to provide enough workers for a 2,000-person center was an initial concern. The company plans to hire 50 workers by next spring, 300 in 2018, and the full 2,000 by 2024.
After months of diligence, DXC found Louisiana had the drive to fill jobs and work with the company to mold a new kind of IT worker, he said.
“We need to start this revolution, this evolution of talent,” Barcelos said. “That’s the purpose of this center right here.”
What kind of IT worker are they looking to train? Hilton noted its customers in health care, government, defense and a wide range of other sectors are increasingly asking them for “specialists who work well as a team, have digital skills, and are knowledge rich.”
They want people “who understand data science, who understand analytics and can pull everything together to deliver” complex solutions, he said.
“It’s really built on the promise of the amount of change happening in technology and services. We think about where is technology going and how do our solutions enable that change? That’s really what this center is,” added Susan Arthur, a vice president who oversees the company’s work in the health, life sciences and regulated industries in the Americas.
The New Orleans center will join the company’s footprint in Virginia, where it is based, as well as centers in Pontiac, Michigan, and El Paso and Plano, Texas. The company also has offices worldwide.
The average salary in New Orleans will start at $63,000 and rise to $73,000 as hiring continues.
Barcelos said the company has not yet secured office space in New Orleans, but hopes to do so within the next few weeks. The company is expected to lease as much as 300,000 square feet of office space in the Central Business District.
Company leaders were confident the logistical details would fall into place. They had their sights set on the horizon.
“We need to start this evolution of talent that carries forward,” Barcelos said. “That’s the purpose of this center.”
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