Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards and CSRA President and CEO Larry Prior dedicated the new 96,000-square-foot Integrated Technology Center that ultimately will host 800 new direct jobs and anchor the 3,000-acre National Cyber Research Park in Bossier City.
After announcing the company’s Louisiana project two years ago, CSRA already employs 400 at the research park delivering next-generation IT services at the Integrated Technology Center, or ITC, and will ramp up to full employment of 800 professionals on-site by mid-2018. In addition to the ITC facility, CSRA is opening a 300-job Customer Engagement Center nearby in a separate Bossier City facility. CSRA anticipates employing 1,100 direct jobs in Bossier City by June 2018. Along with the new direct jobs, Louisiana Economic Development estimates the CSRA facilities will result in 936 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 2,000 new jobs in the Northwest Region.
Over time, the ITC will support an annual payroll in excess of $40 million and will employ a broad range of college graduates and experienced professionals with backgrounds in computer science and related fields, with CSRA continuing a commitment to hiring veterans, wounded warriors and military spouses. Until now, CSRA has occupied 40,000 square feet of temporary space in the National Cyber Research Park’s Cyber Innovation Center, a state- and local-funded developer of the research park that is leading national technology education efforts.
“CSRA’s professional workforce will now be moving into this next-generation facility that will securely and intelligently support so many vital operations of major federal customers, and we couldn’t be happier to have them in Louisiana,” Gov. Edwards said. “Our approach in Louisiana has been to build meaningful partnerships that attract the leading employers of the future in a way that grows our economy and provides our people with outstanding career opportunities. This project is a great example of that winning approach. It builds on our heritage with Barksdale Air Force Base and propels us into the future with great partnerships among state government, local government and Louisiana’s higher education campuses.”
To help provide a pipeline of talent for the CSRA project, the State of Louisiana is funding a 10-year, $14 million higher education initiative that is being led by Louisiana Tech University and supported by Northwestern State University and Bossier Parish Community College. Through the higher education initiative, Louisiana Tech plans to quadruple its total undergraduate degrees awarded annually in computer science, computer information systems and cyber engineering.
“I’m excited to celebrate the grand opening of our new facility in Bossier City,” CSRA’s Prior said. “This marks a true milestone for our company, as the ITC was built as a next-generation IT center of excellence to further enable us to deliver a variety of cost-effective, leading-edge offerings and capabilities to solve our customers’ most challenging and complex issues. This facility is a key differentiator for CSRA and helps position us as forward-thinkers and trendsetters in the federal IT industry.”
“This expansive development project is a great example of industry, government and academia working together to bring enriching, high-paying job and educational-learning opportunities to this community,” said CSRA’s ITC Director of Operations Ashley Rockett. “As a Louisiana native, I’m proud to be part of an effort that gives locals who might have moved away to find a high-profile IT job a reason to come back to Bossier City, build a career and reconnect with family.”
LED began working with CSRA’s predecessor, CSC, on a potential project in May 2013. The State of Louisiana and CSC announced the successful Bossier City project in February 2014, followed by a September 2014 groundbreaking. In November 2015, CSRA completed its separation from CSC as an independent public company formed from the merger of CSC’s government services unit and SRA, also a provider of IT and professional services to the federal government. Louisiana’s partnership with CSRA remained intact through the merger.
“Our work with CSRA is monumental for Northwest Louisiana,” LED Secretary Don Pierson said. “This is a company at the forefront of cybersecurity, cloud computing and big data, and a company that’s applying the best of these technologies to improve the supply chains, IT systems, logistics, and application-based services of many major federal customers. Louisiana competed for this project against more than 130 other sites in many states, and it’s a testament to our government, higher education and economic development partners that we not only won, but also are succeeding in implementing a great project for our state and for Northwest Louisiana.”
In June 2016, CSRA and the State of Louisiana announced a related project that will lead to the creation of 300 additional jobs in addition to the 800 ITC jobs. Located at the Capital One Building in Bossier City, the CSRA Customer Engagement Center will support the company’s next-generation IT solutions and professional services, with 150 jobs filled in the first year and 300 jobs created within 24 months.
“CSRA is a prize you get when leaders with the ability to think outside the box come together for the good of the community and the good of our residents,” said President Wanda Bennett of the Bossier Parish Police Jury. “A decade ago, we started looking at ways to develop the research park, and CSRA is a truly important part of this research park. The main thing here is that we are expanding and diversifying what we have for our families to take part in for years to come. We look forward to our next step, and there will be a next step for public and private opportunities to come together.”
“I am proud to have CSRA as the newest tenant at Bossier City’s National Cyber Research Park,” Bossier City Mayor Lorenz “Lo” Walker said. “I applaud them for making such a significant investment in our city that will result in hundreds of new jobs and generate further economic growth that will subsequently enhance the wonderful quality of life Bossier City has to offer.”
In addition to preparing more students for technology careers, the education initiative led by Louisiana Tech University is helping retain more graduates in Louisiana as career options in the state’s knowledge economy increase.
“Our partnership with CSRA is already having positive and sizable impacts across the region, producing a highly skilled workforce that is helping to meet the needs of CSRA while providing excellent career opportunities for our graduates here in North Louisiana,” said Louisiana Tech President Les Guice. “The breadth and variety of learning and career options that have emerged through this partnership have had significant impacts not just on our students and graduates, but also on the people and communities of our region.”