The high-tech company Perficient moved into its new Lafayette location Wednesday on Jefferson Street, where the company’s expanding workforce develops software for customers across the country.
Perficient is one of three sought-after computer firms that announced in 2014 it would establish a branch in Lafayette. Perficient expects to hire 245 high-tech workers by 2020, many of them from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s School of Computing and Informatics.
Perficient’s temporary office in Lafayette was not far away. Since locating a branch here, the company’s personnel has worked in offices on East Vermilion Street. On Wednesday, the company held a grand opening at the former Jefferson Street Market, which most recently was temporary home to Lafayette’s main library.
“How fitting that this publicly traded company has moved into the city’s former main branch library, renovated it for next-generation technology consulting and is now training our talented young people in software and business integration roles,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said in a news release.
When it reaches full employment of 245, the yearly payroll will top $16 million, according to the state’s business development arm, Louisiana Economic Development.
The agency said the jobs will average $60,000 a year. So far, about 50 people work at the company’s Lafayette location.
Employees in Lafayette will work within the company’s Global Delivery Center network for customers in the a range of industries, including manufacturing, electronics, energy retail, health care and financial services.
Luring Perficient and two other high tech firms — CGI and Enquero — was considered a coup in 2014. Now, 22 months into an energy downturn that has cost over 12,000 jobs in south Louisiana, having the high-tech companies here and employing young college graduates and former energy sector employees is seen as vital.
“In hard times, these companies and professional positions will go a long way to securing the local economy,” said Gregg Gothreaux, who heads the Lafayette Economic Development Authority. The organization helped recruit Perficient and the other companies to Lafayette.
Perficient, a publicly traded company, CGI, Enquero and a host of other companies in the high-tech sector have cited Lafayette’s fast fiber optic network as a big factor in coming to the city.