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Canada-Based CGI Constructs Delivery Center in Lafayette, Louisiana, Research Park

CGI IT started construction on its services delivery center at the UL Lafayette Research Park. Its 50,000-square-foot facility will serve as the anchor tenant for the 143-acre research park in Lafayette, Louisiana. CGI plans to create 400 jobs in the state’s Acadiana region, an area comprised of more than twenty-two southern Louisiana parishes known for its strong French cultural heritage.

Canada-based CGI will lease space for its center in the new 50,000-square-foot, $13.1 million building that is being funded by the State of Louisiana at the UL Lafayette Research Park. The building will be owned by UL Lafayette or its affiliated, nonprofit support organization, Ragin’ Cajun Facilities Inc. Construction will be completed in time for CGI to move into its permanent home in early 2016. Prior to that move, CGI will operate in temporary office space it is leasing in downtown Lafayette on Jefferson Street, where the company will begin operating in February with more than 40 employees.

The 13,680-square-foot downtown Lafayette site offers a capacity for 180 employees. CGI will move to the research park approximately one year later and reach full employment of 400 professionals within the next four years. CGI is hiring both experienced information technology professionals and qualified recent college graduates.

In Lafayette, CGI will solve complex business and IT challenges for clients seeking services from a technology partner that shares a common time zone, language and understanding of client business operations. According to Governor Bobby Jindal’s Office, a key part of the project includes a state-funded, 10-year, $4.5 million higher education initiative led by UL Lafayette that will result in a tripling of the number of undergraduate degrees awarded annually by the university’s School of Computing and Informatics.

Governor Bobby Jindal said, “As one of the world’s leading providers of IT and business process services, CGI headlined a tremendous group of new technology projects that we attracted to Lafayette and Acadiana during 2014. This region has reached a new level of economic momentum that will propel the growth of the UL Lafayette Research Park while creating great new jobs for hundreds of families in this area…We’re proud that CGI continues to invest in the Lafayette area, and that Acadiana will continue to shine as one of our state’s leading centers of economic growth.”

“This groundbreaking is the culmination of a unified vision shared by CGI and the education, community and policy leaders of Louisiana that a strong economy depends on a highly trained, skilled technology workforce,” CGI Executive Director James Peak. “As part of the center, and through our unique partnership with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and other local institutes, CGI is establishing a research and technology innovation lab here to advance cutting-edge technologies, such as cloud computing, cybersecurity, big data and data visualization.”

To secure the project, Louisiana Economic Development offered the company a competitive incentive package that includes a performance-based grant of $5.3 million to reimburse personnel relocation, recruitment, training and building operating costs. CGI will receive the comprehensive workforce solutions of LED FastStart and is expected to utilize the state’s Quality Jobs and Digital Interactive Media and Software Development incentives.

Local incentives for the project will include a grant not to exceed $1.1 million from the Lafayette Economic Development Authority, or LEDA, for the reimbursement of relocation costs and operating costs in a temporary location. UL Lafayette will provide a 10-year land lease that will include a $600,000 in-kind contribution by the university for the first five years of the project, matched by a $400,000 performance-based state grant to the company over the sixth through 10th years of the lease.

“Today’s groundbreaking represents a significant step in Lafayette’s economic diversification,” said President/CEO Gregg Gothreaux of the Lafayette Economic Development Authority. “The 400 employees that CGI will employ at this facility are the foundation of the fourth leg of Lafayette’s business base. Along with health care, energy and entertainment, Lafayette’s burgeoning technology sector will provide the kind of quality jobs that will keep our graduates in the region and bring back those who have left to seek opportunities elsewhere. Our community, with its innate innovative spirit, can only benefit from having this new tech-focused and creative workforce in place. At LEDA, we look forward to continuing our work together as the company becomes an integral part of the university’s research park and the community.”

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