TriWest, which manages health benefits for the Department of Veterans Affairs, plans to open an operations center in Jefferson Parish that will create 285 jobs.

The jobs will have an average salary of $35,700, plus benefits, according to Louisiana Economic Development. The center also will create another 127 indirect jobs.

Where the center will be located is undetermined. Elaine Labedz, a TriWest spokeswoman, said the company is “still investigating a few locations” in Jefferson Parish and has yet to finalize the address.

Based in Phoenix, TriWest was founded in 1996 and is owned by not-for-profit health plans and two university hospital systems. The company was established to provide access to health care for military service members, veterans and their families.

The company also hires individuals for clinical and non-clinical roles, including patient services representatives, licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, management and operations to support client needs.

TriWest will hire as many veterans as possible and will start hiring this month. The call center is expected to launch in November.

The operations center in Jefferson Parish will administer the Veterans Choice Program and provide support for veterans by processing care requests, conducting inbound and outbound phone correspondence with veterans and health care providers, and scheduling appointments. Veterans Choice is a supplemental program that provides primary care, inpatient and outpatient specialty services, and behavioral health care for those who face a wait time longer than 30 days at a VA medical facility; who live more than 40 miles from the nearest VA medical facility; or who cannot access VA services from their home.

TriWest said it is building the operations center in Jefferson Parish in response to the growing popularity of Veterans Choice. Since January, the company said care requests have gone up by 2,400 percent, to nearly 50,000 a month.

The New Orleans area is home to one of the largest populations of veterans who utilize VA health care services, which was a key consideration for TriWest’s investment in Jefferson.

In June, LED and its partners at the Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission began talking to TriWest about locating an operations center in the area.

To secure the project, the state offered a competitive incentives package that includes the services of LED FastStart. The company also is expected to utilize Louisiana’s Quality Jobs Program.

This story has been changed since it was first published to correct two errors.

Follow Timothy Boone on Twitter, @TCB_TheAdvocate.