J.B. Mouton built the new CGI facility, the article from The Advocate is below:
by: Billy Gunn
For other coverage of the CGI opening see the links at the bottom of this post.
CGI officially opened its $13.1 million information technology center in Lafayette on Tuesday, a 50,000-square-foot facility that now serves as the workplace for 250 of the company’s employees, many of them home-grown and locally educated.
The Lafayette facility is CGI’s fourth and newest technology center in the U.S. Although the grand opening was Tuesday, employees relocated from a temporary facility in downtown Lafayette to the new building in February.
The occasion was marked by the presence of high-ranking state and local government officials, economic development and CGI brass, including Tim Hurlebaus, president of CGI Federal, a subsidiary that serves the U.S. government’s civilian, defense and intelligence sectors.
Advocate staff photo by Leslie Westbrook: State, local and company officials cutting the ribbon to the CGI building.
Hurlebaus joined Louisiana officials including Gov. John Bel Edwards, Lafayette Mayor-President Joel Robideaux and Joseph Savoie, president of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where a world-renowned computer science program is training current and future staff for CGI.
Also there was Lafayette Economic Development Authority chief Gregg Gothreaux, who said one of the inducements that prompted CGI and other high-tech firms to set up shop in Lafayette was the state’s tax credits for industry, particularly the incentives for digital media companies. Those incentives are on the chopping block as Edwards and legislators try to narrow a yawning state budget deficit.
Off to the side, Edwards later told reporters that tax incentives are not in budget-cutters’ cross-hairs so much as the “tax giveaways” that require the state to write checks to industry.
According to a news release from LEDA, Lafayette Sen. Page Cortez said he, other legislators and state officials are having to “make tough choices in tough times about incentives.” He said digital media tax incentives are “working well to secure business investment and job creation in Louisiana.”
“I am pleased that CGI and its 400 employees will occupy this beautiful building in my district,” Cortez said. “This is what Lafayette needs at this time in our history.”
Louisiana’s tax incentives were just part of the draw. Also luring CGI and other tech firms were the Lafayette-based institutions of higher learning — UL-Lafayette and South Louisiana Community College.
The package Lafayette and Louisiana has to offer companies also has pulled in others.
In 2014, CGI was one of three tech firms that announced they were establishing a presence in Lafayette. Perficient, a software development firm, recently completed renovating its Lafayette headquarters in a downtown building, the former Jefferson Street Market. And software developer Enquero has set up shop temporarily at the Louisiana Immersive Technology Enterprise building.
All three firms are located within a few miles of each other, with CGI and Enquero situated a few steps apart in UL-Lafayette’s Research Park near the Cajundome.
Many of CGI’s 250 employees took part in the opening Tuesday, looking and listening from the second floor or the lobby floor. When it was over, they adjourned to a crawfish boil under a big tent on the CGI campus.
Many of the future employees the company plans to hire are current computer science majors or studying other disciplines at UL-Lafayette, which is enhancing its research programs.
“While attracting one of the world’s most successful information technology companies, we also are building research capacity in an exciting way for one of our leading higher education institutions, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette,” Edwards said.
Hurlebaus said CGI defines its service centers as “onshore” to differentiate from the way other companies have established “offshore” centers in foreign, faraway lands. The Lafayette facility joins other CGI service centers in Lebanon, Virginia; Troy, Alabama; and Belton, Texas.
CGI is a publicly traded company based in Montreal, with annual revenue in excess of $10 billion. CGI and Louisiana officials estimate the Lafayette operation will generate an economic impact in the parish of $93 million a year.
Other Coverage of the CGI Opening: