Accruent, an Austin, Texas, technology company, will expand to New Orleans and hire 350 employees in the next two years, economic development officials announced Monday (June 11). The company has already had a local test run of sorts, working for the past six months out of temporary space in the Warehouse District while hiring its initial staff.
The new hires being sought are software engineers, developers, customer support, sales and administrative personnel. Accruent intends to add 65 employees to its New Orleans office this year and the balance by 2020.
“Since 2012, New Orleans has led the nation in technology job growth, and we are pleased to continue this trend with the talent we need to support our strong acceleration in new technologies …” John Borgerding, Accruent CEO, said in a company statement. “Given the vibrant corporate community and tremendous growth opportunities, New Orleans became the clear choice for our next wave of expansion.”
Physical resource management is a specialty for Accruent, founded in 1995 and originally based in San Francisco. Its 1,000 worldwide employees and their technology help businesses manage and maximize their hard assets such as real estate, facilities and infrastructure.
Accruent counts some 10,000 clients globally representing a number of industries. That number includes about 50 companies in Louisiana, with Entergy Corp., LSU and Ochsner Health System among them.
“Accruent’s entry into New Orleans will create such opportunities, and we are excited to welcome this world-class team to Louisiana,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said in a statement Monday. “Accruent’s investment in our state is a testament to the strength of our business climate and the commitment of local, state and regional partners to ensuring that companies thrive here.”
Talks with Accruent’s leadership about a New Orleans location began in June 2017, according to the New Orleans Business Alliance. Initially, the company envisioned 100 to 150 employees in the expansion, but the number has since climbed to more than 300. Meg Swanson, the company’s chief marketing officer, said in a phone interview Monday that Accruent has grown more rapidly than expected, requiring the boost in hiring planned for New Orleans.
As to why it chose New Orleans to meet its demand, Swanson said it came down to the local talent pool. “It’s incredible. The state has been wonderful to work with, and we’ve already hired more than 20 people for our office there.”
Negotiations for permanent downtown office space are ongoing, officials said. Accruent plans to occupy 20,000 square feet of office space. The company would not disclose the other cities it was considering for its expansion.
Accruent has 18 locations internationally, and New Orleans will be its ninth U.S. site. Its other domestic offices are in Austin and Plano, Texas, Davis and La Jolla, California, Minneapolis, Boston, Denver and Phoenix. The company’s foreign offices are in Canada, England, Germany, India, Israel and the Netherlands.
To set up its New Orleans office, Accruent used one of the two temporary office spaces Greater New Orleans Inc. leases at The Shop, a shared workspace at the Contemporary Arts Center.
Michael Hecht, CEO and president of GNO Inc., called Accruent’s decision to expand to New Orleans significant for two reasons. “First, Accruent was already aware of New Orleans as a good location before they even reached out to the state, which means our reputation is growing. Second, we’re now seeing regular growth in tech — the ‘flywheel’ is beginning to spin — and as a result our region’s economy is diversifying,” he said.
GNO Inc., Louisiana Economic Development and the New Orleans Business Alliance teamed to secure Accruent’s commitment. The company is expected to receive Louisiana’s digital media tax incentive and a tax break from the state’s Quality Jobs program. Both are performance-based incentives, meaning the company only receives them as they create new jobs. The 350 hires are a company goal and not tied to the incentives, according to Louisiana Economic Development.
The digital media perk provides a 25 percent tax credit on qualified payroll for in-state hires and 18 percent for qualified production expenses. Accruent can only receive the tax break for its jobs directly related to digital media.
Other positions not related to digital media production can apply for the Quality Jobs tax break, which is a state income sales tax rebate of up to 6 percent on 80 percent of the company’s gross payroll for new jobs. The incentive is good for five years, after which the company can apply for a final five years of eligibility.
In addition to Accruent’s 350 new employees, Louisiana Economic Development projects its expansion will add another 338 indirect jobs in the New Orleans region.
“Accruent’s expansion and growth mirrors that of the New Orleans technology community,” Johnny Culpepper, director of Accruent’s New Orleans office, said in a statement. “While our global employee base has grown 50 percent in the last two years, to more than 1,000 employees, we’re depending on New Orleans’ strong pool of technology talent to fuel our growth to the next level.”
Accruent will work with Operation Spark to train a portion of its new hires. The nonprofit organization teaches software development to individuals who have traditionally encountered barriers to careers in the field.
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