NOLA.com / The Times Picayune
Shreveport-based educational software developer EDgear announced Wednesday (Oct. 22) plans to expand its operations at the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport.
Until its new offices are built, EDgear will house its operations where the airport police department currently sits. The airport plans to construct an office building on the north side of the airfield that is currently vacant. When the office building is completed, EDgear will relocate there.
“We look forward to expanding our operations in the Capital Region,” said Will Loftin, chief executive officer of EDgear. “Through partnership with the mayor, BRAC, and LED, we quickly realized that the capital city afforded our company the accessibility and professional talent we need to grow our business.”
EDgear entered into a lease arrangement with the airport that’s expected to pass through the East Baton Rouge Parish Metro Council Wednesday. According to the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, the company will make more than $27,000 in annual lease payments and have the option to renew the lease for four additional one-year terms after the initial year.
“EDgear’s decision to locate in Baton Rouge demonstrates the region’s attractiveness as a place to do business,” said Baton Rouge Mayor-President Melvin “Kip” Holden. “This company’s expansion will continue the momentum we’ve experienced in the software sector over the last twenty-four months.”
The 30 year old company develops software programs to collect and manage student information and to provide reporting solutions that benefit students, faculty, administrators, and parents at the school, district, and state education level.
EDgear will create 33 new direct jobs in Baton Rouge by the end of 2015, and a total of 85 new direct jobs by 2018. Officials say the new jobs will offer an average annual salary of $64,000, plus benefits.
In addition to the 85 new direct jobs, Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in an approximate 125 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 200 new jobs in the Baton Rouge area. EDgear will make a $1.77 million capital investment in new equipment and building renovations at the terminal annex suite.
Jared Smith, the Baton Rouge Area Chamber’s director of business development for East Baton Rouge Parish, said, “The airport plays a critical role in regional economic development and was particularly attractive to EDgear because of the company’s business relationships around the state and beyond.”