Computer firm CSE ICON has expanded its Lafayette workforce of computer systems engineers, growing to occupy two floors in a renovated downtown building equipped with the LUS Fiber Internet the company needs.
In the past 16 months CSE ICON went from 28 employees to 59 with plans to hire another 25 high-tech workers for the Lafayette facilities.
“Our Lafayette office acts as a technology nerve center for the oil and gas upstream, midstream and downstream services that we provide all over the United States,” John Miller, CSE ICON vice president of operations, said Tuesday in announcing the expansion.
The company moved into the first floor of the Central Street building, which is owned by the Southwest Group, in January 2014. CSE ICON now occupies the first and third floors of the building.
Lafayette City-Parish President Joey Durel said the building was the first in Lafayette to offer Internet speeds of one gigabyte per second.
“The whole fiber initiative and everything we’ve done has been about creating jobs in Lafayette,” Durel said.
CSE ICON also has offices in The Woodlands, Texas, and in Denver, and provides computer services to its oil field customers’ operations in Oklahoma, Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. It is a technology company that specializes in long-distance computer control of pipelines, wellheads, refineries and other industrial operations.
The company started its Lafayette branch in 2014 as a client of The Opportunity Machine, a business incubator run by the Lafayette Economic Development Authority.
“Lafayette functions as the nerve center of our company,” Miller said.
Miller said CSE ICON personnel across the country call on the company’s Lafayette staff, who live and work in a city with oil and gas expertise and with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette nearby.
CSE ICON joins other high tech firms that have announced moves to Lafayette in the past two years: Canadian tech firm CGI; Missouri-based Perficient; and Enquero Inc. from California. All the companies cited the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and the school’s Research Park as draws to south Louisiana. The number of direct jobs announced by the three companies totalled almost 1,000.
Miller said CSE ICON’s work in Louisiana is concentrated on oil and gas upstream and midstream operations. He said the firm plans to pursue downstream opportunities at refineries near Lake Charles to the west, and Baton Rouge and New Orleans to the east.