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Gov. Edwards announces software company move to Lafayette

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Posted at 1:24 PM, Jul 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-27 17:13:43-04

A software company specializing in educational software will be moving its corporate offices to Lafayette, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced today.

SchoolMint will be moving its headquarters from San Francisco, as well as offices in Miami and New York, to Lafayette. The move will include a $515,000 capital investment and 178 direct new jobs with an average annual salary of $74,200. The company also is retaining 13 jobs at its existing Lafayette office.

"It's great to be here, and to talk about something other than COVID-19," he said. "Good news has been hard to come by these past couple of months."

Edwards thanked representatives of LEDA and state Sen. Gerald Boudreaux for their assistance in the process.

“With this headquarters relocation from Silicon Valley to South Louisiana, SchoolMint reinforces what we’ve known for a long time: Louisiana is a great place for doing business all across the digital landscape,” Gov. Edwards said. “From Lafayette to Baton Rouge and New Orleans and across North Louisiana’s I-20 Cyber Corridor, Louisiana is leading the way with cutting-edge tech firms creating quality jobs for our digital future. With this project delivering hundreds of new quality jobs, we are happy to welcome SchoolMint to our growing family of leading high-tech companies.”

SchoolMint acquired Lafayette-based Smart Choice Technologies in 2019. Company officials said they began to consider consolidating and relocating their U.S. offices to Lafayette as they tapped into the area’s pro-technology and pro-business climate, college-to-career pipeline and availability of local talent.

“SchoolMint’s mission is helping students, parents, teachers, schools and districts create bright, sustainable futures,” MacDonald said. “We are thrilled about our move to Lafayette and the opportunity to build and expand our workforce in Louisiana, a state that clearly embraces those same values. The vibrant and growing tech culture here is exciting, and we expect to create hundreds of high-tech jobs over the next decade. We look forward to bringing a bit of Silicon Valley to Lafayette, while also deepening the local roots first put down by our Smart Choice division.”

LED and the Lafayette Economic Development Authority began formal discussions about the project with SchoolMint in March 2020. To secure the project, the State of Louisiana offered SchoolMint a competitive incentive package that includes the services of LED FastStart®, ranked the No. 1 state workforce training program in the U.S. the past 10 years. The incentive package includes a $900,000 Digital Interactive Media and Software Development tax credit on qualifying software development and payroll expenses, as well as a $1 million performance-based grant for corporate relocation expenses. Based upon meeting capital investment and payroll targets, School Mint will be eligible for up to $100,000 a year for 10 years. The company also is expected to utilize Louisiana’s Quality Jobs Program.

Here's the press conference: