Missouri-based technology consulting firm Perficient will open a new software development center in Lafayette, creating 245 jobs averaging $60,000 a year, the company announced Thursday.

Perficient is the third major technology company this year to announce plans to open a location in Lafayette.

CGI, a Canadian firm, is http://theadvocate.com/home/10161892-123/naacp-sets-meetings-around-statehttp://theadvocate.com/home/10173409-123/federal-investigation-of-iberia-sheriffshttp://theadvocate.com/news/acadiana/9026996-123/new-tech-center-coming-to">planning a technology center at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Research Park that will employ 400 high-tech workers, and California-based Enquero Inc. is http://theadvocate.com/news/acadiana/9660581-123/software-firm-to-create-350">opening a center here that will employ 350.

The three companies combined will create nearly 1,000 high-tech jobs when in full operation.

“It’s our turn,” Lafayette City-Parish President Joey Durel said of the developing technology sector. “The South has been booming for years, and we have not been participating in that.”

Perficient employs more than 2,200 people in offices throughout North America and overseas in India, China and Eastern Europe.

“This is a serious company. This is a global company,” said Gov. Bobby Jindal, who joined officials with Perficient to unveil the company’s plans.

Perficient expects to start hiring here by year’s end.

The company has set a goal of growing to 50 employees by the end of 2015 and 245 employees within six years. The payroll is estimated to grow to more than $16 million a year, according to figures from Jindal’s office.

Perficient is now searching for a permanent location but will set up shop temporarily in the Gordon Square building downtown, Lafayette Economic Development Authority spokeswoman Stacey Strodtman Zawacki said.

Perficient President and CEO Jeff Davis said the company scouted areas across the country for its new software center but settled on Louisiana for the state’s economic development incentives and on Lafayette in particular because of the existing tech workforce and strong technology programs at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

“We did look at several other states,” Davis said. “The decision was easy for us.”

UL-Lafayette’s computer science programs have long had a good reputation, and the university plans to begin working with Perficient to ensure that its curriculum meshes with the company’s needs, UL-Lafayette Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs James Henderson said.