Software firm to create 350 jobs with Lafayette office

California-based Enquero Inc. will open a center in Lafayette that will create 350 direct jobs that average $64,300 a year, company officials and Gov. Bobby Jindal announced Monday.

Enquero’s center, called an Agile Delivery Center, is set to open in Lafayette in August. Hiring will begin soon after the company opens its doors.

All 350 full-time employees are expected to be hired by the end of 2017. The project also will create 354 indirect jobs, company officials said.

“Truly, they looked all over the country before choosing to locate here in Lafayette,” Jindal said.

Headquartered in Milpitas, California, in the famed Silicon Valley, Enquero’s three owners — Hemant Asher, Kabir Singh and Arvinder Pal Singh — made the decision to locate the company’s first outsourcing site outside California after visiting Lafayette.

The company chose Lafayette after experiencing the culture and breathing in the region’s entrepreneurial spirit, Asher said.

“For you to believe it, you have to come here,” he said.

Asher also said the talent stream coming out of UL-Lafayette’s computer science programs was a major draw.

UL-Lafayette’s Center for Visual and Decision Informatics is training students to work for Enquero, which has unique and cutting-edge computer programs, UL-Lafayette President Joseph Savoie said.

He said the relationship between UL-Lafayette and Enquero will be symbiotic, with the company receiving all the help the university can give it.

Enquero helps improve its clients’ computer systems through software development. The company says its clients cover a wide range of industries.

The Agile Delivery Center will be housed at the Lafayette Economic Development Authority facilities at UL-Lafayette’s Research Park on East Devalcourt Street.

At first, Enquero will sublease 2,200 square feet of office space from LEDA on renewable one-year leases for four years.

Jindal said high-tech companies such as Enquero are the employers Louisiana needs to reverse a decades-long outmigration of the state’s smartest young people. He said high-tech jobs in the state have grown 25 percent since 2008.

The Enquero announcement came on the heels of Louisiana’s successful recruitment of information technology firm CGI to UL-Lafayette’s Research Park, which Jindal and CGI announced in early May.

Jindal on Monday touted Louisiana’s success in recruiting other high-tech companies: CSC, Electronic Arts, Gameloft, GE Capital and IBM.

Enquero will use Louisiana Economic Development’s LED FastStart program, which Jindal’s office said is the nation’s best state-created workforce development program.

Enquero also is eligible for tax breaks under Louisiana’s Digital Interactive Media and Software Development Incentive.

Lafayette City-Parish President Joey Durel said a major reason high-tech companies are attracted to Lafayette is because of the high-speed fiber-optic system provided by Lafayette Utilities System, which can route the system to every home and business within the city.

LEDA President Gregg Gothreaux said adding companies like Enquero to Lafayette will add to the city’s reputation as a technology hub.

“It’s important to bring in companies that are large or are going to be large,” Gothreaux said.