CGI, an international tech company, has announced a big expansion, bringing 400 new jobs to the Lafayette area as part of its IT Center of Excellence. Another Lafayette Parish site will add an additional 100 jobs, bringing the company’s total to 900 employees in Acadiana.

Louisiana Secretary of Economic Development Don Pierson says the expansion comes down to ULL’s partnership with the company.

"An expanding computer science department that’s turning out to be an excellent pipeline for these high-skilled positions that are really well-paying jobs,” Pierson said.

Pierson says they’ve been emphasizing a program that pairs companies with universities, technical colleges, and community colleges to build a pipeline program that gets graduates good paying jobs, and guarantees companies a steady stream of qualified workers.

“It’s a win-win for those career-minded students and the university benefits and certainly for those corporations, not just in I.T. but in some of the other partnerships that we have across the state,” Pierson said.

Pierson says the program has yielded results such as DXC Technology’s decision to locate in New Orleans. It’s even led to the creation of a pipeline that leads New Orleans Delgado students on a path to putting people back in space.

“Training students in advanced manufacturing to support direct pathways into jobs with Boeing assembling the space launch system, the next rocket that will carry man to the moon and beyond,” Pierson said.