The Cyber Innovation Center saw the culmination of six years worth of effort come to fruition Tuesday with news that major technology company CSC will move into the National Cyber Research Park.
Over the next four years, CSC, a global leader in next-generation information technology services and solutions, will bring 800 jobs to the research park — preventing graduates with technology degrees leaving and creating a demand from local universities to fill a workforce. They will occupy a new, 116,000 square foot building located adjacent to the CIC.
“This is big enough that it will create a whole new sector in the local economy that didn’t exist. Without the investment from the locals and the state, we wouldn’t have this opportunity. It is the convergence of a long term vision and plan that goes back to six years with the creation of academic outreach programs that will be very beneficial to this company,” said Craig Spohn, CIC President.
“This is diversification of our local economy. These are true, high tech jobs for the future. For 800 of them, with how big our community is, that’s moving the needle,” said G.B. Cazes, CIC Vice President.
The new, $29-million building will be funded by the state of Louisiana and owned by Bossier City and Bossier Parish. CSC will receive a combined $10 million from Bossier City and Bossier Parish for data center infrastructure associated with the new building. Bossier City will also provide the land at no cost and waive property taxes for CSC.
The announcement was made during a press conference Tuesday afternoon. Governor Bobby Jindal, Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret, Bossier City and Bossier Parish leaders, and CSC executive Dave Zolet were on hand to welcome CSC.
“We invested in the Cyber Innovation Center to attract these type of opportunities to our community. Without the CIC, we would not have been able to secure these 800 jobs. We are very excited for what this means to our citizens,” said Mayor Lorenz “Lo” Walker.
Bill Altimus, Bossier Parish Administrator, said, “This is a defining moment for our community. These jobs will give those who left our community an opportunity to return home while providing our current students with career options that did not previously exist.”
CSC will become the premier IT employer in the region and create a strong demand for future graduates with technology-related degrees.
The state of Louisiana will invest $14 million over 10 years in local universities and colleges to develop a next-generation IT workforce.
“The big win, locally, is that this is what we all set out to do. Our kids don’t have to leave to find jobs,” said Cazes. “We get emails from people all the time who have left and now they can come home.”
See tomorrow’s edition for the full story