U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., Chair of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, today announced that the Cyber Innovation Center (CIC) in Bossier City, La., will receive a grant of $2.35 million. A total of $22.8 million was included in the Fiscal Year 2012 Homeland Security Appropriations bill for cyber education and outreach activities, which the Senator authored. The CIC is eligible for the funds because of the merits of its cybersecurity education program, which serves as a nationwide model. This funding continues Sen. Landrieu's efforts to build a highly skilled workforce, and improve awareness of the importance of cybersecurity for the nation.
"The Cyber Innovation Center serves as a model for the rest of the country on how to educate and train a cybersecurity workforce," Sen. Landrieu said. "In today's high-tech and constantly evolving world, we must have innovative, integrated and bold protection against the dangers that exist in cyberspace. These funds will help the CIC continue fostering a skilled workforce and supporting the high-tech, high-growth sector, as well as educating young people and making them aware of what is needed to keep us safe."
"Senator Landrieu has continued to show great support for new, innovative cyber education and workforce development initiatives. Her leadership has helped blaze a new path that will not only build our nation's future cyber workforce but also help secure our nation's interest and its future as an economic force in the free world," Craig Spohn, President of the CIC said.
This funding is through the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Cybersecurity Education and Training Assistance Program, and will support the start of a Cyber Discovery model. DHS will evaluate this model to determine whether it can be implemented in other States. The CIC has been an integral part of the Department of Homeland Security's efforts to develop critical cybersecurity education programs. In July 2010, the CIC was awarded a $300,000 grant to support these programs.
"Cyber Discovery is a national quality program that will have a significant regional impact in each community that it's deployed. This program is a model that not only empowers K-12 teachers and college faculty, but also engages students through technology and lays a foundation for the development of our nation's future knowledge-based workforce," G.B. Cazes, Vice-President of the CIC said.
In August, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano joined Sen. Landrieu to tour Louisiana homeland security sites and visited the Cyber Innovation Center to see the partnership between the CIC and local school systems, universities, and businesses. Since being appointed chair of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee last year, Sen. Landrieu has focused on building a highly skilled workforce and a heightened awareness when it comes to the nation's cybersecurity. She also authored language that encourages DHS and the Department of Defense to work together to develop an effective cybersecurity strategy.