Since the beginning of 2010 and the decline of the oil and gas industry, the Lafayette economy has worked to diversify itself. “Oil and gas are very important to us but we have to diversify,” says Greg Gautreaux, CEO of Lafayette Economic Development Authority (LEDA).
According to our media partners at the Daily Advertiser, Total Louisiana rigs in 2019 are up 35% from 2016. That is still below the number from 2010 when the decline began.
“We have worked to diversify since the 80’s and we have done a better job than many communities in doing that. Our medical community is now the largest employer in Lafayette Parish and the largest sector,” says Gautreaux.
In Lafayette, hospitals alone account for more than $200 million in state and local tax collections, according to a study by the Louisiana Hospital Association in 2018.
Another growing sector is technology. Gautreaux says, “It’s exciting because those jobs pay, generally you have to be a college graduate, and they pay $50,000 and above. We are doing really well and it’s our fastest-growing sector.”
Companies like CGI have expanded and employed hundreds. Partnerships have also been made with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and South Louisiana Community College to cultivate more technology-based education in the area.
Gautreaux says, “Diversification is the key, we wanna diversify with oil and gas not away. These technology jobs are just another step on the ladder to true diversification.”