Northern Louisiana is a powerhouse of economic development, and its technology sector is no exception. From the headquarters of CenturyLink to the IBM Customer Innovation Center, Barksdale Air Force Base, and the National Cyber Research Park in Bossier City, the state is home to many tech-related businesses. With strategic investments in higher education, competitive incentives, and alignment of state and local levels, Louisiana offers software development companies a competitive advantage. Waitr's founder and CEO, Chris Meaux, attributes much of the company's growth to Louisiana's Economic Gardening Initiative and the Small and Emerging Business Development Program. These programs have helped to make Louisiana one of the top 10 states in the country for business climate, according to Area Development and Site Selection.
Housing and utility costs are traditionally lower in Louisiana than the national average. This makes it an attractive place for tech companies to set up shop. In addition, Louisiana offers the Quality Jobs program, which provides a cash refund of up to 6 percent of gross annual payroll for new direct employment for up to 10 years. Global technology companies and fast-growing startups continue to find an enabling business climate, a reliable talent pool, and productive partnerships with schools and universities across the state. CGI is the main tenant of the University of Louisiana Research Park in Lafayette, occupying 50,000 square feet of space.
With more than 23,000 information technology professionals in Louisiana, tech companies have easy access to a skilled workforce. Tim Taylor, vice president of finance, business operations and strategy at FiberLight, says that their company will remain in Louisiana after their agreement with FiberLight. This is just one example of how technology companies are taking advantage of all that northern Louisiana has to offer. From oil and sulfur deposits to logging booms and World War II industrial growth, northern Louisiana has a long history of economic development. With its current workforce and through strategic investments in higher education programs, Louisiana is on track to become one of the leading states in terms of producing graduate programs in computer science. The technology sector in northern Louisiana is an invaluable asset for businesses looking for a competitive edge. With its low cost of living, quality job programs, and access to a skilled workforce, it's no wonder that tech companies are flocking to this region.
By leveraging these advantages, businesses can unlock the potential of northern Louisiana's technology sector.