Today's announcement (Advertiser, Advocate, Advertiser again, and yet again) of a major new employment should kick $115 million yearly into the Lafayette area economy in the form of a major new call center. The NuComm deal will mean a 1,000 jobs, with benefits, centered in Lafayette's Northside. The deal-makers touted their own influence, a package of incentives, and the local Lafayette technology initiatives for the coup. Announced by the Lafayette Economic Development Authority (LEDA) the announcement emphasized Fiber To The Home, LEDA's LITE center, and local participation in Lamda Rail. But LITE and Lambda Rail are mostly positive indications of our atttitude. The fiber to the home project will bring real economic benefits to companies that are trying to decide where to locate their call center business.
Mike predicted it--and made it clear what the economic benefits to companies would be:
Imagine the possibilities in a fibered-up Lafayette!How's that for prescience?
If you've noticed recently, some television ads extol the virtues of company websites that let you click to connect directly to an operator. It's internet protocol-based phone systems that allow this intermodal interaction to take place.
Lafayette could become a magnet for these types of jobs when the LUS fiber network lights up. The high-speed network could easily handle voice and Internet traffic of the busiest call centers, distributed or concentrated. Not only that, the network could enable another mode of communications (video!) over the Internet portion of the network that would further enable our community to distinguish itself as a hotspot for leading edge business applications.
Think about it! A city with the potential to become the home to thousands of call center operators working from the comfort of their homes.
This announcement is big win for state and especially local officials and development personnel and they deserve all the congratulations we can extend. But beyond that it is a big win for the people of Lafayette who endorsed the fiber initiative partly in hopes of spurring economic development. A part of the community's hope was that voting for the fiber project would help make the area more attractive and help us keep our kids in the area. This announcement is a down payment on a future their collective ability to dream of a better future for their community enabled. Kudos to Lafayette.
A few juicy fiber and tech oriented quotes for the readers of this blog:
He said NuComm plans to take full advantage of the high-tech projects the city has embarked upon including fiber-to-the-home and the Louisiana Immersive Technology Center on that list.A bit of Lafayette chauvinism:
"I can see most of our employees in (the) next five years being able to work from home, which is attractive to a lot of people." (Advertiser)Bergevin said he is also excited about the technological developments in Lafayette — including the city’s municipal telecommunications project, the Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise and the state’s connection to the National Lambda Rail, which enables a large bandwidth connection to the rest of the world. (Advocate)
And a bit of good sense:
State Secretary of Economic Development Michael Olivier said parts of the state undamaged by the hurricanes, such as Lafayette, will have to “carry the economic football” for the whole of Louisiana for awhile.
LEDA CEO and President Greg Gothreaux said that Lafayette’s unemployment reached an all-time low in April, at 2.7 percent.
Over the past five years, Lafayette accounted for 40 percent of the net new jobs created in the state, Gothreaux said. (Advocate)
LEDA Board Chairman Walter Guillory said he is excited by the announcement, but said he is picturing a future visit to the call center once it has started operations, providing jobs that improve people’s quality of life.
“I think that’s going to be the true blessing,” Guillory said. (Advocate)