The Cyber Innovation Center (CIC), the anchor of the National Cyber Research Park (NCRP), is fulfilling its promise to grow the economy and diversify the workforce of northwest Louisiana, according to a report by economist Dr. Loren Scott.
The NCRP, consisting of four new buildings and the campus of Bossier Parish Community College (BPCC), has contributed more than 2,000 jobs with employee earnings of $122.9 million. While providing a physical location for government, industry, and academic partners to collaborate, conduct leading research, and develop state of the art technologies, the NCRP has generated $5.6 million per year for local government entities in Bossier Parish.
“Every once in a while, a new gem is discovered that adds significantly to the quality of the crown jewels. For northwest Louisiana, the new gem is the NCRP in Bossier Parish,” Dr. Scott said. “The NCRP is a very viable economic gem.”
His report showed that in 2020, the NCRP generated for Bossier Parish:
- $115.2 million in new sales.
- $127.9 million in new household earnings for residents. This almost equals the earnings of all parish hospital workers ($128.8 million).
- A total of 2,104 jobs. This is more than the parish’s entire construction sector of 2,039 jobs in the fourth quarter of 2020.
- Annual wage of $60,789. This is 26% higher than the average annual wage in the parish.
- $5.8 million in new tax revenues for local government.
Dr. Scott notes that these numbers for 2020 are impressive but will continue to grow over time and planned expansions at the NCRP will also boost these numbers.
Additionally, the NCRP is a benefit to its sister parish, Caddo. Caddo Parish received $178.9 million in new business sales, $95.7 million in new household earnings, an average of 266 new jobs, and $4.3 million in new local government revenues.
Regionally in 2020, the NCRP generated:
- $154.5 million in new business sales
- $148.2 million in new household earnings
- 2,651 permanent jobs
- $6.7 million in new revenues for regional government
According to Dr. Scott’s report, by 2025, the parish will not only have received $62 million in tax revenues generated by activities at the NCRP but will have also gained more than $1.3 billion in new sales for businesses in the parish, more than $1.4 billion in new earnings for parish residents, and an average of 1,313 jobs a year.
“Most would argue it was a great investment by the parish, indeed,” Dr. Scott said.
The NCRP began life in 2009 with the construction of CIC. Completed in 2012, this 135,000 square foot research center houses its cybersecurity workforce development initiative CYBER.ORG, plus a technology transfer and transition partnership with Air Force Global Strike Command in the Collaborative Environment and STRIKEWERX innovation hub. As well as classrooms, labs, office space, and training space for many out-of-town visitors throughout the year.
“Since CIC’s inception, the vision was always to diversify our workforce and grow the region’s economy. What Dr. Loren Scott’s report reflects is a 14-year investment of hard work not only by CIC and NCRP partners, but of forethought and perseverance by Bossier City, Bossier Parish, the State of Louisiana, and our Congressional Delegation,” said Craig Spohn, CIC executive director and president. “While this is excellent news for our parish and region, this is only the beginning. We have more work to do by continuing our mission to enrich the lives of those in northwest Louisiana.”
The campus of Bossier Parish Community College (BPCC) lies nested within the NCRP overlay district. As one of the top community colleges in not only the region and state, but entire country, BPCC provides a pipeline of talent for a burgeoning workforce fostered within the NCRP.
“Having a national cyber research park located next door to BPCC is a blessing in that our students can see their futures as they walk to and from classes,” said Dr. Rick Bateman, chancellor of Bossier Parish Community College. “I am proud of the work we have done with the CIC to create a talent pipeline for a new career field in the region.”
The General Dynamics Integrated Technology Center (GDIT) was built between 2014 and 2017. GDIT provides next-generation technology services to the federal government with 1,100 high-wage, highly skilled employees. Another 300 people are employed at GDIT’s Business Integration Center on Benton Road in Bossier City.
The newest building within the NCRP district was completed in 2018. This multi-use building belonging to BPCC also houses the Louisiana Tech Academic Success Center (LTASC). The LTASC is a multi-use building that hosts cyber training, credential course work and field exercises. Also, individuals are taught cyber literacy skills and are provided help in dealing with cyber threats, and manufacturers are trained on how to protect their products.
“The National Cyber Research Park is instrumental in providing high-paying jobs for our technology degree graduates,” said Dr. Les Guice, president of Louisiana Tech University. It is an honor for Louisiana Tech to play a part in helping make a massive impact on Bossier, Shreveport and all of the I-20 corridor.”
A fourth building, the Louisiana Tech Research Institute is scheduled for completion in 2022. LTRI will be focused on advancing basic knowledge to applied research to technology commercialization in the cyber space. An end goal is to attract a knowledge-based workforce in the cyber field and to generate patents, licenses, and other technology commercialization.