Ameritas Technologies said today it will open an information technology center employing 300 workers in downtown Baton Rouge. Ameritas Technologies CEO Brian Keane, Gov. Bobby Jindal and Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden participated in the announcement.
The development will bring 300 new direct jobs with an average salary of $63,000 plus benefits, and will result in an additional 306 new indirect jobs, according to a press release.
The company’s strategy includes creating local software development centers in affordable U.S. metro areas, which offers an alternative to sending IT work offshore by providing greater convenience, local quality control and contextual familiarity to better meet business enterprise needs. Ameritas will partner with state government and local colleges and technical schools to recruit, employ and train a new generation of skilled IT workers to support innovation and technology leadership in Louisiana.
“Ameritas joins a growing list of companies expanding in Louisiana because of our strong business climate and world class workforce. Ameritas’ decision to build a new IT center in Baton Rouge is further proof that our state is becoming a beacon for the digital media and technology industries. Most importantly, today’s announcement means we are continuing to create more opportunities for our sons and daughters in Louisiana so they don’t have to leave home to pursue their dreams,” Jindal said.
The state began discussions with Ameritas in March about the possibility of a Louisiana location. The company, which is also looking at establishing software development technology centers in Maine and Massachusetts, decided to locate first in Baton Rouge.
“We are excited to partner with the State of Louisiana, Governor Jindal and the City of Baton Rouge to endorse practical solutions to put residents to work,” Keane said. “Baton Rouge is a vibrant community with fantastic educational institutions and an engaged and active government, all of which make it an ideal location for our software development facility.”
To secure the project, LED offered Ameritas a performance-based grant of $125,000 per year for 10 years to offset leasing costs. Ameritas also will receive assistance from LED FastStart™ – Louisiana’s workforce development program – and the company is expected to utilize Louisiana’s Quality Jobs and Digital Interactive Media and Software Development incentives.
Ameritas, which is leasing space in the Chase building, will begin hiring new employees by September and open its Baton Rouge location by October. The company will employ 150 people by 2014 and reach full employment of 300 workers by 2016.