Louisiana Tech celebrates cyber center opening in Bossier with fanfare

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The I-20 corridor moved closer Thursday toward delivering greater opportunities to Shreveport-Bossier with the opening of Louisiana Tech’s Academic Success Center.

“We want the knowledge-based jobs. That’s what this is about,” said Louisiana Tech University President Dr. Les Guice.

Located in the bottom floor of the Bossier Parish Community College STEM building in the National Cyber Research park in Bossier City, the center’s crown jewel is the Cyber Training Center.

It is designed to act as a catalyst for research, training, and education across cyber technologies. It will guide students and military, both retired and active duty, towards four-year degrees and career advancement.

“This (center) will act as a focal point for connecting current and prospective students with opportunities right here in northwest Louisiana. It will also support an emerging defense industrial base growing here at Barksdale Air Force Base,” said Dr. Guice. “And most of all, it will allow us to work more closely with BPCC to develop cyber education programs.”

Local and state dignitaries were on hand to celebrate the center’s opening, including Gov. John Bel Edwards. He touted the center’s potential, noting that there would be 2 million jobs available in STEM fields by 2020.

“We want many of those jobs as possible filled right here in northwest Louisiana along the I-20 corridor,” said Gov. Edwards.

The center came to life as a public-private partnership between Bossier City and Parish, the Cyber Innovation Center, CSRA, Louisiana Tech University, and Bossier Parish Community College — as well as a $1 million gift from the AEP Foundation

“This is as much a cooperative endeavor as I can imagine. We wouldn’t be here without private contributions,” said Dr. Guice.

UL System President, and former BPCC chancellor, Jim Henderson added, “Look no further than this building and (research park) to see a tangible model of how public-private partnership benefiting education can have an economic impact.”

“Our goal is to advance economic prosperity for our region so we can compete globally,” said Dr. Guice. “This is a place where companies and students are going to want to be.”