Monday, June 17, 2024

National recognition for tech talent pipeline proves CIC, NWLA partnership value

by BIZ Magazine

Northwestern Louisiana is garnering national attention for its technology workforce, with the Cyber Innovation Center poised as a leader helping develop this pipeline.

Business Facilities ranked Louisiana as the top state for the Tech Talent Pipeline category in its 19th Annual Rankings Report.

“Investment into the Cyber Corridor in the northern part of the state are drawing academia, industry, and government resources and supporting the demand for talent in cybersecurity,” the publication noted in a press release. “The state’s move up from second place in 2022 to the top spot recognizes an impressive and proactive focus on expanding the skilled tech workforce through programs that are quickly and effectively delivering results.”

The report focuses on 60-plus factors pertinent to site selection teams during a corporate relocation or expansion project. The report has been a resource for corporate site selectors for nearly 20 years.

“Our region has been blessed at the national, state, and local level with forward-thinking leaders who invested into the I-20 Cyber Corridor. This investment means development of and support for cybersecurity talent via new educational programs that lead directly to in-demand, high-paying jobs. Those jobs impact our local economy, improving the quality of life for our neighbors,” said Kevin Nolten, CIC vice president. 

The employed cybersecurity workforce of the Shreveport-Bossier City MSA is almost 20% above the national average, according to Cyber Seek.

CYBER.ORG, a division of CIC, has spent the last decade building a K-12 cyber education program across the U.S. with thousands of teachers and students accessing the resources to fuel the cyber workforce pipeline for the future.

“CYBER.ORG is leading the charge to create a more diverse pool of future cybersecurity changemakers, and we want cybersecurity education accessible to all students – regardless of their background,” said Laurie Salvail, executive director of CYBER.ORG. “We are proud of our national partnerships that bring cybersecurity into the classroom and collaborate with industry leaders to bridge the cybersecurity workforce gap.”

More than 48,000 people work in technology jobs in Louisiana, according to CompTIA, the nonprofit association for the IT industry and workforce.

Those employees’ estimated median wage is $68,661, which is 86% higher than the median wage for all occupations in the state. The tech sector has an economic impact of $5.7 billion and the state is home to approximately 5,300 tech businesses.

CIC is the anchor of the National Cyber Research Park (NCRP) and has spent 14 years promoting research, education, innovation, and collaboration among its partners in governmental agencies, private industry, and academic institutions.

The General Dynamics Integrated Technology Center, a tenant of the NCRP, provides next-generation technology services to the federal government with 1,400 high-wage, highly skilled tech employees.

CIC has also worked with regional university and college partners such as Louisiana Tech University and Bossier Parish Community College (BPCC), to develop a tech talent pipeline for the I-20 Cyber Corridor.

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