DXC is bringing jobs of the future to New Orleans | Editorial

DXC Technology’s plan to open a digital transformation center and bring 2,000 jobs to New Orleans over the next seven years gives us a glimpse of what our city can be.

The infusion of that many high-tech, good-paying jobs will help diversify the economy and could be a magnet for other similar companies.

“The validation of having the world’s leading independent end-to-end IT services company will bring other companies here to do work in Louisiana and greater New Orleans,” Greater New Orleans Inc. CEO Michael Hecht said. “But most importantly, the No. 1 message we are hearing recently from people is greater New Orleans needs more professional jobs. And that is what DXC is bringing in the thousands.”

The company will lease up to 300,000 square feet of office space downtown and start building its workforce in 2018. The plan is to hire 300 people in the first year and 2,000 by 2024. Jobs will include software developers and engineers, and the average salary will start at $63,000 and rise to $73,000 as hiring progresses.

DXC is looking for employees “who understand data science, who understand analytics and can pull everything together to deliver” complex solutions, executive vice president Stephen Hilton said. The company saw great potential in the people of New Orleans, he said.

Our city should be proud of this achievement. New Orleans prevailed over 30 other U.S. cities in an 18-month process led by GNO Inc. and state economic development officials with support from the city, business and education leaders. They clearly were a strong team.

“You really couldn’t have a bigger win for the city,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu said. The DXC deal does seem like a game changer.

Tech jobs in the New Orleans have been growing over the past decade, and the city has gotten a lot of attention for its entrepreneurial energy.

In July, Entrepreneur magazine listed New Orleans at No. 5 in list of “8 Cities Whose Entrepreneurship Communities Are Booming.” The magazine raved about the city: “As the home to Collision, one of entrepreneurship’s hottest conferences, … New Orleans has carved an incredible foundation for startups to thrive. Plus, do I need to mention the rich culture?”

DXC Technology’s decision will give our community even more credibility.

The Virginia-based company has 170,000 employees across the world. DXC Technology was formed in April by a merger of HP Enterprises, which was previously part of Hewlett Packard, and Computer Sciences Corp., known as CSC.

The new company has employees in 70 countries working with more than 6,000 clients. Its IT services include billing systems, security services and government contracting. These are the kinds of jobs New Orleans has been coveting for years.

Roughly $25 million of the state’s $120 million incentives package will go to LSU, UNO and other colleges in the region over five years to hire faculty and develop curriculum to train people for jobs with DXC.

The company initially wasn’t sure the New Orleans area could fill the 2,000 jobs planned for its digital transformation center. But the higher education plan to expand degrees in computer science and other STEM-related programs eased those concerns.

That initiative is Louisiana’s largest investment in a higher education collaboration with a private company, according to a news release on Business Wire.

The development of a strong technology curriculum not only will benefit DXC, but should provide a stream of graduates for other technology jobs.

Mike Lawrie, the company’s chairman, president and CEO, said in the news release that the company is “thrilled to become a member of the New Orleans community.” The feeling is mutual.

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