Acadiana Business

Schumacher creating 600 local jobs

by Leslie Turk

Homegrown Schumacher Group Thursday announce a five-year expansion plan that will create 600 permanent local jobs.

Gov. Bobby Jindal joined Schumacher Group CEO Dr. William "Kip" Schumacher Thursday morning at the company headquarters on Corporate Boulevard to announce a major headquarters expansion over the next five years. Schumacher Group - which generated $439 million in revenues in 2010, a 13 percent increase over 2009 - provides emergency and hospital medicine staffing and management services.

The expansion will create 600 new direct jobs in the Lafayette area, with average salaries of $62,500, plus benefits, and Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in the creation of another 784 new indirect jobs. That's a total of nearly 1,400 new jobs in the Acadiana Region over the next five years. Schumacher Group currently employs more than 300 people in Lafayette with total employment of 1,200.

The company is making a $19 million capital investment, including expanded headquarters facilities and specialized training space.

Founded in Opelousas in 1994 by ER doc Schumacher, Schumacher Group is the third-largest emergency medicine staffing and management company in the country. It later moved its headquarters to Lafayette and now serves more than 3 million patients at more than 180 hospitals in 24 states.

"The Schumacher Group, based right here in Louisiana, looked to expand in other major cities across the country, but because of our competitive programs like the Quality Jobs tax credit, the Digital Media tax credit and the Louisiana FastStart worker training program, they'll expand right here in Lafayette while creating nearly 1,400 new jobs for our people," Jindal said. The governor called the investment an example of the "new Louisiana" he and LED have been working to create over the past several years, "a place attracting billions of dollars in business investment and creating opportunity so no Louisiana child has to leave home to pursue the career of their dreams."

"It's exciting to have this opportunity to expand in Louisiana and grow into other business lines that further impact patient care," Schumacher said. "For the past 17 years, we made the decision to have our corporate base in Louisiana because of the talent, drive and culture of the people, which so define our success. We're now an international company, but we're committed to Louisiana as our home base. This state initiative just makes that commitment even stronger."

To secure the headquarters expansion, the state offered Schumacher Group a customized incentive package, including a performance-based grant from the Mega-Project Development Fund to reimburse 50 percent of the cost of expanding headquarters facilities, up to a maximum state contribution of $9 million. Schumacher Group also will receive hiring and training assistance from LED's Louisiana FastStart program, which has been ranked as the best state workforce solution in the nation by Business Facilities magazine. In addition, the company is expected to utilize Louisiana's Quality Jobs program, as well as the state's recently enhanced Digital Media & Software Tax Credit.

Schumacher Group is finalizing plans for its expanded headquarters space and expects to complete the expansion by 2014. LED's Business Expansion and Retention Group began working with company executives earlier this year.

"When you combine the average yearly economic impact of $245 million, the number of jobs and the average wage per job, this is the most significant project for Lafayette and Acadiana in more than a decade," said Gregg Gothreaux, president and CEO of the Lafayette Economic Development Authority. "The impact of the Schumacher Group cannot be overstated - it is a local business that has grown beyond our borders and is a success on the national and international stage."

Read more about how Schumacher built his company in this November 2009 ABiz cover story.