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CIC receives $5,000 contribution from AT&T

Photo by Randy Brown/Press-Tribune

Efforts to keep local students connected to a positive future got a boost as AT&T, which has been connecting people for well over a century, contributed $5,000 to the Cyber Innovation Center (CIC).

AT&T’s contribution will support the CIC’s existing academic outreach and workforce development program, which includes professional development, curricula, camps, and competitions that engage students in cyber and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Many of the CIC’s efforts, like the Regional Autonomous Robotics Circuit (RARC), allow students to participate in hands-on cyber and STEM projects that encourage critical thinking and teamwork.

These cyber, STEM, and 21st century skills will help students succeed in their academic careers as well as future professional endeavors.

“These students are our future, and we must invest in their education and development if we want to continue to see economic and job growth,” said State Senator Ryan Gatti. “The Cyber Innovation Center continues to be a robust provider of STEM education and activities in Louisiana as it is of utmost importance if we are going to move forward as a global leader in innovation.”

“We are proud to have the support of Senator Ryan Gatti, who helps drive pro-business policies, promoting continued investment by companies like AT&T,” said Craig Spohn, Executive Director and President of the Cyber Innovation Center. “While AT&T has been deploying fiber infrastructure since the mid-80s, the Cyber Innovation Center is the first building in Louisiana designated as AT&T Fiber Ready. This designation, highlighting infrastructure in place to support state-of-the-art communications, will greatly assist in our efforts accelerating research, technology, and development while building a knowledge-based economy in the region.”

The Cyber Innovation Center’s mission is to promote the creation of a knowledge-based technology workforce and help diversify the region’s economic base by promoting research, education, and technology among many partnering organizations, businesses, and educational institutions.

“Louisiana is incredibly fortunate to have the Cyber Innovation Center’s leadership in offering unique learning opportunities for tomorrow’s leaders,” stated Robert Vinet, Regional Director, AT&T Louisiana. “It is vital that we prepare tomorrow’s workforce today. Our state will need thousands of new employees to fill science, technology, engineering, and mathematics-related jobs to meet the demands of the billions of dollars in new projects already in development.”

Currently, public, private, and charter schools in Bossier, Bienville, Caddo, Catahoula, Desoto, Lincoln, Madison, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Richland, Sabine, Union, and Webster Parishes in North Louisiana participate in the CIC’s academic outreach and workforce development program. Eighteen additional parishes in Central and South Louisiana also benefit from the program.

Any schools or parishes interested in implementing the CIC’s programs can visit www.nicerc.org for more information.

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