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Minden Lions learn about tech company CSRA

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The Minden Lions Club received a crash course on what is happening down the road in Bossier City at CSRA’s Integrated Technology Center.

Mimi Hedgcock, Sr. Principal, External Affairs at CSRA’S Integrated Technology Center (ITC), joined the club as guest speaker Thursday to explain the business’s many endeavors.

In addition to raising awareness for CSRA’s hiring needs and promoting philanthropic events, Hedgcock works with Louisiana higher education partners to advance curriculum and develop a workforce pipeline for North Louisiana’s technology sector.

According to Hedgecock, CSRA came about two years ago when Computer Science Corporation and SRA International merged. However the two businesses have 50-years combined experience. The company is based in Falls Church, Virginia, near Washington D.C.
CSRA employs more than 18,000 employees and has earned more than $5 billion in revenue. CSRA partners with the federal government to provide next-generation technology, including cloud data bases, cyber security and application development. They also keep an eye towards the future of technology and what needs may arise within the intelligence community in the next decade.

A few years ago, following a meeting of CSRA leadership, the company’s Chief Intelligence Officer scoured the country in search of a city suitable for expansion outside the beltway. The CIO traveled to 135 cities before realizing Bossier City was the best choice. Louisiana created incentives for quality jobs for state citizens, digital media tax credits and offered lower cost-of-living, but good old-fashioned southern hospitality also played a role.

“Bossier City was the place he found to be the most welcoming as a community and provided the best assets for a workforce pipeline,”Hedgcock said. “Bossier City is where we have the highest number of employees outside the beltway; the community was the determining factor.”

Over the past four years, the company has hired more than 700 employees with plans to exceed 900 employees by June 2018, according to Hedgcock. In addition to the CSRA ITC, the company added a second facility, the Customer Engagement Center, located on Benton Road.

CSRA has also developed partnerships with Bossier Parish Community College, Louisiana Tech University and Northwestern State University.

“For three days, the leadership of those colleges rolled up their sleeves, brought their textbooks and said, ‘Let’s look at every course, let’s determine what’s going on in technology and let’s fix it, so that when our students graduate are ready for these jobs on day one.’”

The results speak for themselves: Louisiana Tech developed the nation’s first four-year cyber engineering course and BPCC created a curriculum for an Application Development associate’s degree which began enrolling students last fall; all of this following a two-day academic summit of 60 leaders from CSRA and participating schools.

“The ecosystem we’ve created brings back jobs, saves taxpayer dollars and keeps our state’s best and brightest at home,” Hedgcock said. “If you look at our workforce, the majority came from Louisiana schools. We want to invest in TOPS, we want to invest in higher education institutions; CSRA is a great example of that.”

For more information on CSRA and their role in the cyber realm, visit the company’s website, www.csra.com

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