Software Development

Louisiana Software Industry

Customized Solutions Built To Software Specs

The software development industry is thriving in Louisiana. With the nation's strongest, most comprehensive incentive for the industry, strategic investments in higher education and alignment from the state to local levels, Louisiana gives software development companies a competitive edge.

Through a comprehensive approach, the state has helped software and technology companies like CSC, CenturyLink, EA, IBM, Gameloft, GE Capital and more to:

  • Open new development centers
  • Expand new divisions
  • Consolidate testing facilities
  • Relocate central operations

Louisiana's High-Tech Talent

With its existing workforce and through strategic investments in higher education programs, Louisiana is on the path to becoming one of the top states in computer science graduate production.

Technology companies in Louisiana have ready access to a skilled workforce that includes over 21,000 informational technology professionals. Software and digital media clusters are emerging around the state in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lafayette and Shreveport, bolstering Louisiana's vision of a technology ecosystem.

Louisiana is committed to rapidly growing its current and future software workforce through investments totaling more than $38 million in the computer science and engineering departments of higher education institutions across the state, including Louisiana State University, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, the University of New Orleans and Louisiana Tech University. These investments were made in conjunction with project announcements in the state by CGI, CSC, IBM, GE Capital and CenturyLink.

Strategic Investments in Higher Education Expand Talent Pipeline

As part of the IBM project in Baton Rouge, Louisiana committed to invest $14 million over 10 years in computer science programs — with at least 65 percent of those funds dedicated to the LSU School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. This funding will enable LSU to double its computer science faculty and triple the number of annual computer science graduates within five years. For IBM, this partnership allows for input on university curricula and delivers the talent pipeline to meet the workforce needs of IBM and others.

As a component of GE Capital's 300-job technology center in New Orleans, Louisiana is providing $500,000 per year for 10 years to higher education institutions to fund software development-focused academic programs in New Orleans. These programs are being developed in a collaborative process that includes LED, GE Capital and higher-education leaders, with a focus on growing the future software development talent pipeline in the area.

Through LED FastStart®, GE Capital and the University of New Orleans have established an innovative Software Engineering Apprenticeship Program (SWEAP), designed to provide GE Capital with highly trained and immediately productive graduates.

LED FastStart Delivers Customized Workforce Solutions

LED FastStart, the nation's No. 1 state workforce development program, provides customized services for software development companies locating or expanding in the state – all at no cost to the company.

With only one goal, client satisfaction, FastStart partners with each company's subject matter experts to analyze and study their unique workforce requirements. After determining the competencies that match the cultural and technical abilities that define the most successful employee, the FastStart team employs both traditional and innovative methods to recruit talent to meet each company's specific requirements.

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Custom recruiting services by LED FastStart provided Gameloft with a custom recruitment strategy that resulted in more than 60,000 page views, two million impressions and 1,700 job applicants.

For GE Capital, LED FastStart was able to provide workforce analytics identifying sources of talent available to the company, including in-state professionals, graduate and undergraduate statistics and out-of-state recruiting. FastStart then executed a custom recruiting plan to address GE's specific needs. At the dedication of the Technology Center in April 2013, GE announced they were ahead of their hiring schedule.

FastStart also assisted IBM with recruiting, including at job fairs both in and out of Louisiana, as well as through online advertising. By September 2013, IBM had hired more than 100 employees — a milestone the company was not scheduled to reach until June 2014.

Industry-Leading Incentives

Louisiana has the nation's strongest, most comprehensive incentive for software development. Companies starting up, expanding or relocating in the state can receive a 35 percent refundable tax credit for payroll expenditures and a 25 percent refundable tax credit for qualified production expenditures. If the amount of tax credits exceeds the business' state income and franchise tax liabilities, the business receives the balance as a refund.

The power of this statutory software development incentive is evident in its scope. Louisiana's incentive is the only program in the nation dedicated wholly to software development, with no industry- or content-specific restrictions.

  • Enterprise Solutions: CRMs, MISs, ERP/ERMs, HRMs, CMs
  • Consumer: Interactive, experiential and off-the-shelf products
  • Applications: App development of all kinds, across all platforms
  • Analytics: BI, Big Data Tools
  • Services: SaaS, PaaS, ITaaS, BaaS
  • Gaming: Gaming across all platforms
  • Embedded: Firmware and systems software
  • Visualization Programs

Unlike cumbersome programs in other locations, Louisiana's incentive is versatile, enabling software development companies to leverage it to meet their specific needs.

  • Convenience: LED serves as the central, one-stop-shop in administering the incentive program.
  • Ease: The incentive application process is straightforward and clean.
  • Transparency: Every company receives a master qualification certificate that serves as the comprehensive incentive summary.
  • Scalability: There are no minimums or caps, and the incentives grow as new employees and projects are added.
  • Flexibility: Companies may opt to receive their benefits more quickly than the year period, providing a sustainable and accessible cash flow mechanism.

In addition, Louisiana also offers the Quality Jobs program, which provides a 5 percent or 6 percent cash rebate of annual gross payroll for new, direct jobs for up to 10 years.

Flexible Incentive Packages Meet Project Needs

LED's project teams will work with you to develop a customized incentive package to fit your project's specific needs.

  • Global Delivery/Services Center: The Digital Interactive Media and Software Development Incentive provides global delivery and services centers with significant, sustained cost savings on both payroll and production. Through the state's scalable incentives, a Louisiana-based center provides higher margins, lower risk and a sustained competitive advantage. Additionally, this incentive can be stacked with the Quality Jobs program, which offers a 5 percent or 6 percent rebate on non-software development jobs, providing flexibility in the composition of the center. This cost benefit combines with an already low cost of doing business in Louisiana. With the services of LED FastStart and the state's considerable investments into computer science and engineering, companies can find in Louisiana a current and future robust workforce solution.
  • Testing Center: Testing software is critical across all products and divisions. The Digital Interactive Media and Software Development Incentive applies to all forms of software testing, meaning an organization can see significant cost savings by locating its testing resources in Louisiana. As a growing software development hub attracting companies like GE Capital, Gameloft, CenturyLink and more, Louisiana is an ideal location for companies looking to significantly reduce cost while maintaining the high standards necessary to conduct software testing. Louisiana's partnerships with universities mean access to a skilled workforce.
  • Dedicated Software Development Center: For centers entirely dedicated to software development, Louisiana's software incentive and the services of LED FastStart can significantly reduce costs. The Digital Interactive Media and Software Development Incentive will provide a payroll rebate on project managers, quality assurance, engineers, programmers, designers, composers, artists and more. With the option to receive 85 percent of the earned value as a rebate any time in the year, the incentive also provides an accessible cash flow mechanism. The 25 percent production expense rebate applies not only to production equipment, but also facility rental fees and permits. With investments by the state in higher education and the recruitment services of LED FastStart, development centers will also have access to a highly trained workforce.


For more information on Louisiana’s Software Development Industry, click here.

Contact Info Louisiana

Ms. Aoife Clarke
Representative UK & Ireland

Louisiana Economic Development c/o Wavteq
201 Borough High Street
London SE1 1JA
Tel: +44 7387 265 966

Geert Hovens
Chief Representative, Germany, Austria, Switzerland

Patersstraat 35
5801 AT Venray
The Netherlands
Tel: +31 (478) 50 81 65

C.A.S.E. Call Centre

Ursula Becker

+32 488 331 972

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