Global IT and business consulting firm CGI has created more than 700 jobs at its U.S. Onshore Delivery Center in Lafayette, Louisiana, which opened in 2014. This is almost double the number of jobs it originally expected to bring to the region. CGI’s Acadiana workforce supports federal and commercial clients across the nation undertaking critical digital transformation projects.
“In the eight years since CGI announced it would establish a new base of operations in Lafayette, the company has nearly doubled its original estimate of 400 new direct jobs,” said Louisiana Economic Development (LED) Secretary Don Pierson. “CGI is a shining example of higher-education partnerships, business assistance programs and specialized workforce training combining to fuel technology sector expansion. The result is a rapidly diversifying state economy that is empowering our citizens with high-paying jobs, new skills and new opportunities for professional and personal success.”
“The 700-plus jobs created by CGI have had a transformative impact on the region’s economy as we’ve continued efforts to diversify the local business base. CGI has provided quality employment opportunities for local graduates and new talent from across the country and the world,” said Mandi Mitchell, President and CEO of the Lafayette Economic Development Authority. “CGI and its employees continue to engage with, and positively impact, the community through their participation and volunteerism with K-12 schools, local non-profits and service organizations, and University of Louisiana at Lafayette. I look forward to seeing CGI’s positive impact grow in Lafayette and Acadiana for many years as they continue to invest and expand in the community.”
Approximately 35 percent of CGI employees are hired through a college recruiting program, drawing candidates from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and other state institutions. More than 25 percent of CGI’s workforce has relocated to Louisiana from out of state, with some former Lafayette residents returning to pursue technology careers after living outside the region.
CGI’s Lafayette center has also forged a close partnership with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Today, that partnership includes CGI’s Project Based Learning Program, an initiative that offers real-world learning experiences for UL’s Computer Science and Informatics students.
“The continued growth of CGI represents its commitment to being a steadfast and dynamic member of this community, and the University is proud of the partnership it has built with the company. For example, CGI’s interdisciplinary Project Based Learning program provides mentorship and a pathway to academic success for our computer science and informatics students,” said Dr. Joseph Savoie, President of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. “As CGI continues to expand its workforce, many of these students will join other University graduates who have found professional success with the company. Additional collaborations between the University and CGI have strengthened and advanced our mission of research and innovation and have created extraordinary opportunities – and definite results – for the broader region we are both fortunate to serve.”
Through Louisiana’s first-ever software developer apprentice program, CGI graduates apprentices who learn tech skills by working alongside experienced IT professionals. Apprentices receive 3-5 months of technical instruction before joining CGI for 12 months of on-the-job training. After completing 2,000 apprenticeship hours, many graduates are given the opportunity to pursue consultant-level positions at CGI.
“Through a productive collaboration with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, innovative partnerships in the community and the unwavering support of local leaders and officials, CGI in Lafayette continues to grow and attract top regional talent,” said William LaBar, Vice President, Consulting Services for CGI. “We remain committed not only to job growth in Acadiana, but to building and maintaining a reputation as a great place for local students and professionals to build a fulfilling career.”
Entergy Seeks Another Three Gigawatts Of Solar Energy
In an effort to both protect the environment and help the state grow through economic development, Entergy Louisiana recently made the largest renewable power expansion request in state history. Earlier this month, the company filed a request with the Louisiana Public Service Commission for approval to add an additional three gigawatts of solar power to its generation portfolio, on top of the nearly 225 megawatts of solar power the company previously requested. In that regulatory filing, Entergy Louisiana sought approval for approximately 175 megawatts from a facility in Iberville Parish and approximately 49 megawatts from what would become the Sterlington Solar Facility in Ouachita Parish.
Collectively, 3,225 megawatts of solar power are in the approval queue for potential construction, development and placement on the grid through agreements with Entergy Louisiana, a major step forward in meeting the sustainability needs of its current and future customers.
“Like never before, our state has opportunity to retain businesses, support expansion projects and attract new companies on a global scale, but it’s going to take meeting their operational and sustainability needs,” said Phillip May, Entergy Louisiana president and CEO. “Our latest request for up to three gigawatts of renewable power, the largest such expansion request in state history, shows we’re serious about not only protecting the environment by reducing our carbon footprint, but also continuing to be a major driver of economic development. This is not only a net-positive for our company and industries, but for the future of our state.”
The individual resources that make up the three-gigawatt proposal would be built in Louisiana, so local communities and economies would benefit from job creation and additional tax revenues generated during construction of the facilities. In addition, further diversifying the company’s generation portfolio will help protect customers from the volatility of natural gas prices and other factors outside of Entergy’s control.
Currently, Entergy Louisiana has approximately 280 megawatts of renewable resources, including the Capital Region Solar facility, which began delivering power to the grid in October 2020. Along with nuclear generation, nearly 25% of the company’s portfolio comes from carbon-free resources. These solar additions in Louisiana are consistent with Entergy Corporation’s plans for as much as 15 to 17 gigawatts of renewable resources by the end of 2031. The company previously announced a commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.