, , ,

School Administration Software Company Expands After Near-Departure

Skyward Almost Left Wisconsin After State Opted For Single-Vendor Software Policy

Skyward President Jim King speaking at a rally last year against a proposed single-vendor software policy for Wisconsin's schools. Photo: Glen Moberg/WPR News.

The central Wisconsin school software company Skyward has broken ground on a new headquarters building with a plan to hire another 600 people over the next 10 years — a big turnaround for a company that almost left the state in 2013.

The $30-million, 184,000 square-foot headquarters should be completed by the end of next year, according to Skyward founder and board chairman Jim King.

“It’s our way of saying we’re here for the long haul,” said King. “We have two facilities now and both of them are busting at the seams. Plus it’s going to allow us to add up to 600 more. Our plans are to continue to grow this business to the point where in 10 years, we’ll be 1,000-strong.”

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

King started the Stevens Point software company with one client in 1981. It now provides software for more than 1,750 school districts in the country, including 390 in Wisconsin. Just last year, King considered moving his company out of the state, after a Department of Administration procurement process chose another firm to provide software for all of Wisconsin’s public schools.

“Had we been faced with the prospect of not being able to sell our product in Wisconsin, we would have been forced to move,” said King. “And the last thing I would want to do is pick up and leave this great state of Wisconsin. So it’s quite a relief to say the least.”

Skyward’s statewide public school contracts were saved by a coalition of both Democratic and Republican lawmakers, which scrapped Wisconsin’s single-vendor software policy. Many of them joined Gov. Scott Walker at the groundbreaking ceremony Friday.

Related Stories