Area Development
Fortune 500 company CenturyLink has announced it will remain headquartered in Monroe, LA, expand its headquarters there, and produce 800 new jobs in the state by 2016. These positions will be in addition to the 350-job expansion project previously announced in late 2009.

Salaries for the new direct jobs should average more than $65,000 (plus benefits), create about 1,170 indirect jobs, and have a total impact of nearly 1,970 new jobs according to the Louisiana Economic Development (LED).

CenturyLink provides broadband, voice and wireless services to consumers and businesses across the country, and has more than 15 million access lines in the U.S. It also offers advanced entertainment services under the CenturyLink™ Prism™ TV and DIRECTV brands.

Gov. Bobby Jindal called the expansion announcement "a huge win for Monroe, Northeast Louisiana and our whole state..CenturyLink truly is one of [our] great business success stories, and we are thrilled they will continue their growth right here in Louisiana."

A new headquarters expansion incentive agreement between the company and the state calls for CenturyLink to add nearly 1,150 new jobs by 2016 in Northeast Louisiana beyond its mid-2009 employment level. Once the newest expansion is completed by 2016, it's estimated CenturyLink will become the top economic-driver company in this region of Louisiana, and one of the top 10 statewide (based on its direct and indirect employment impact).

Today the company employs about 1,970 people in Louisiana. After completion of the expansions described in the incentive agreements announced in 2009 and this month, CenturyLink's Louisiana employment will have increased by more than 60 percent to nearly 2,970 direct employees. LED estimates the company's total employment impact following the expansion will be approximately 7,400 direct and indirect jobs in Louisiana.

To secure the agreement, LED negotiated an incentives package which includes a $14.9 million performance-based grant to pay 50 percent of building or leasing additional headquarters space in Monroe, and a $3.3 million performance-based grant to reimburse relocation costs.

In addition, LED will give CenturyLink $1.2 million over four years so the firm can expand its telecommunications partnership with Louisiana Tech University (a relationship initially announced with a prior expansion in 2009). The state agency also will provide up to 150,000 square feet of discounted space in the state-owned Accent Building in Monroe through 2015 (may be used as "swing space" for by CenturyLink staff during construction). It's anticipated CenturyLink will continue to use the Louisiana FastStart program and LED's Quality Jobs program.