Category Archives: Blog

Innovation North LA is Coming: Why Cyber?

This year cyber is a big component to the Innovation North LA initiative. Because our area has seen a surge in the field of Cyber Security, we are noticing a common trend in the events associated with Innovation North LA. A few of the events include information targeted toward cyber technology.

In order to bring more attention to this field, our Education & Innovation Luncheon will be focused on, “Cultivating Generation Cyber.” At this event on Nov. 13 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the CenturyLink Center, there will be several vendor booths present that represent higher ed institutions like La Tech, Grambling, NSU, LSUS, BPCC. NICERC will also be present as a vendor table. These participants will showcase the type of cyber technology and programming that is present at each institution. Continue reading

Applications are open for the ACT College and Career Readiness Champions Awards!

You can nominate someone to be an ACT College and Career Readiness Champions, including:

  • High school seniors
  • K-12 professionals
  • Postsecondary professionals
  • Workforce professionals
  • Who are making a positive impact on their communities through their efforts to advance college and career readiness.

The ACT College and Career Readiness Champions are individuals across the country who support ACT’s mission of education and workplace success. In addition, Student Champions receive a $500 non-renewable scholarship.

Applications can be found at www.act.org/readinesschampions. Applications are due October 31, 2018, and champions will be notified on or before January 31, 2019.

Volunteer to Help Future Cyber Professionals Grow

The Cyber Innovation Center’s National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center (NICERC) is kicking off the 2018-2019 RARC season. The theme this year is Marine Discoveries.

They are in need of an army of energetic volunteers to help with the first RARC competition on Saturday, Nov. 3 at the Bossier Civic Center (620 Benton Road, Bossier City). No previous robotics experience is needed! There are many roles available, and instruction will be provided.

If you are interested in volunteering, please sign up here and spread the word about this volunteer opportunity!

New Member Spotlight: Mini Me Boutique

Karin Moffett worked in banking for 6 years until she got pregnant with her second child. While on bed rest, she decided to start pursuing another passion of hers. She began to vinyl and embroider clothing. She says she has always loved dressing up with her daughter and that it is therapeutic for her. Soon she opened up her own online shop called Mini Me Boutique.

“I felt like I needed a purpose. I wanted to do something I knew I wouldn’t get bored with and everyone loves shopping.”

Moffett was online only for a year and recently opened up a brick-and-mortar in Bossier. Her boutique offers children’s clothing along with comfortable maternity wear. She says that opening up her own business has been a challenging, but rewarding process.

“There was a lot of stuff to cover when opening a business that I had no idea about, but it’s rewarding because it is yours and you can see your idea come to fruition.”
You can check out Mini Me Boutique at 2801 Northside Dr. Ste. 8 in Bossier or visit their Facebook page.

What is Innovation North LA?

What does it mean to be an innovator? It means you are someone that thinks outside the box. You aren’t afraid to introduce new methods of thinking in order to solve a problem. Last year, for the first time ever, the Bossier Innovates Foundation along with various regional partners launched Innovation Northwest Louisiana in an attempt to celebrate the innovators in our community. This event helped further growth for our Bossier Innovates Initiative showing that Northwest Louisiana is a region full of opportunities for anyone from entrepreneurs to innovators alike. Continue reading

New Member Spotlight: Delinquent Recovery Services

Established in 1964, Delinquent Recovery Associates is a credit reporting agency located in Shreveport. This new member is constantly expanding. Greg Juneau, President of Delinquent Recovery Associates, says their longevity is because of their hardworking staff. He says they run a “tight ship” at their business. Their employees are initiated with rigorous training upon coming aboard, are closely monitored and maintain the highest ethical standards in the industry. Maintaining their client’s integrity is a top priority.

“The magic in any business is to be courteous, professional, dependable and trustworthy,” Juneau said. “We plan to keep training our staff this philosophy, which attracts new clients. Besides, there aren’t too many folks crazy enough to try to run a collection agency these days.”

The family-owned business was passed down over the years and hopes to continue working with their clients. Delinquent Recovery Associates is a member of Credit Data Industry Association and ACA International, two national credit industry associations.

You can visit their website to learn more about how they do business.

We want to hear from your small business!

Each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving small businesses around the country are celebrated in a #shopsmall campaign, started by American Express in 2010. This year’s Small Business Saturday is set for November 24 and we want to know if your local business is participating.

Will you have a special promo going on during this special day of shopping? Any sales, giveaways or deals going on to attract customers to your store? If so, we want to hear about it so we can share on social media!

Help us create a #shopsmall takeover on our social media platforms. It will be the “24 days of Shop Small” with the Bossier Chamber of Commerce and small business partner, Advocate Advertising Group! If you would like to be featured please let us know by emailing Katie Theriot (katie@bossierchamber.com)

Nov. 6 ballot: Constitutional amendments and a referendum

On the Ballot

There are six constitutional amendments and one referendum on the November ballot for Louisiana voters. The Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana has released their guide to the amendments, which shows you what a “Yes” vote or a “No” vote on each would mean. Click here to get an independent, non-partisan review of the amendments for 2018.

What is the extra legislation on the ballot?
The “Louisiana Fantasy Sports Contests Act” will determine whether fantasy sports contents can be permitted in each parish. This relates to any fantasy sports contest or simulation sports game or contest – like fantasy football – played through the Internet or mobile devise with certain elements.
Currently, fantasy sports games are legal in Louisiana if no wagering is involved. 

Why is this on the ballot? All local gaming options have to go on the ballot for Louisiana voters to vote for or against, by parish.

2018 elections are coming fast

Louisiana voters head to the polls on November 6 for the Open Primary/Congressional election. There are numerous local elections on the ballot – including Bossier Parish School Board races and mayor and city council races in Shreveport and school board in Caddo – but there are also state-wide elections on the ballot as well as U.S. Congressional races throughout the state.

There are 9 candidates to fill the Secretary of State seat -Kyle Ardoin, Heather Cloud, “Gwen” Collins-Greenup, A.G. Crowe, “Rick” Edmonds, Renee Fontenot Free, Thomas J. Kennedy III, Matthew Paul “Matt” Moreau and Julie Stokes –  vacant in an off-year election due to Tom Schedler’s resignation in May.

Additionally, there are six constitutional amendments to vote for and one House Bill (click here to read more about those).

In our district – U.S. Representative 4th Congressional District – incumbent Mike Johnson is running against Mark David Halverson and Ryan Trundle.

>> Get your sample ballot here!

DATES TO KNOW:

THE CANDIDATES:
The Bossier Chamber of Commerce has offered to host candidates for the state’s Secretary of State race to meet our members. We do not endorse candidates but will continue to inform you of any meet and greets with these candidates.

The Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce has conducted video interviews for races in Caddo Parish. You can watch videos of candidates for:

General Dynamics Information Technology and Partners Win Excellence in Economic Development Award

ATLANTA, Ga. — North Louisiana Economic Partnership (NLEP), an Accredited Economic Development Organization, announced that the partnership with General Dynamics Information Technology’s (GDIT) Integrated Technology Center in Bossier City, Louisiana Economic Development (LED), Louisiana Tech University, Northwestern State University (NSU), and Bossier Parish Community College (BPCC) won an Excellence in Economic Development Silver Award from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). IEDC is the largest membership organization for economic developers in the world. The honor was presented at an awards ceremony on Tuesday, October 2, during the IEDC Annual Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

“This year our judges reviewed some extraordinary projects that advanced both communities and businesses. We congratulate all the award winners and thank everyone who nominated their projects for sharing their success with fellow IEDC members,” said Craig Richard, CEcD, FM, President and CEO, Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation located in Tampa, Florida, and 2018 IEDC Board Chair. “What we learn from each other helps us to grow and advance as a profession. We look forward to even greater participation from economic developers across the globe in the 2019 awards program.”

This IEDC Award recognized the six partners in the category of Partnerships with Educational Institutions for populations between 200,000 – 500,000. The Partnership Award honors excellence in economic development through meaningful linkages with postsecondary education. NLEP submitted the project on behalf of its higher education and economic development partners.

“North Louisiana’s 11 colleges and universities represent one of our region’s most significant assets, and this IEDC Award validates the importance of partnerships with our higher education institutions,” said Scott Martinez, NLEP President. “North Louisiana Economic Partnership (NLEP) works closely with our higher education partners to recruit companies and to support the region’s existing employers. The collaboration between General Dynamics Information Technology, the three high education partners and economic development organizations is an excellent example of the impact from partnerships.”

Louisiana Tech, NSU and BPCC partnered with GDIT to expand the IT talent pipeline coming out of the three schools. Funded by a higher education initiative from LED and supported by NLEP, the program allowed GDIT to ramp up its workforce to 1,000 employees. In fact, 30 percent of GDIT’s workforce are veterans ̶ many exiting active duty from Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier, LA.

“This award recognizes excellence in economic development in Louisiana, through our best-in-class partnerships with leading companies and our community colleges and higher education institutions,” LED Secretary Don Pierson said. “Louisiana committed to a 10-year, $14.5 million initiative with area colleges, and that commitment made it possible to recruit, train and deliver a critical workforce pipeline to General Dynamics Information Technology. In just over four years since the project was announced, our STEM emphasis has allowed GDIT to establish its workforce in Northwest Louisiana. We are also pleased that many military veterans exiting service from Barksdale Air Force Base and Fort Polk have found great job opportunities with GDIT. Our partnership with NLEP and the education community is delivering a new generation of talent and securing quality jobs in technology here in Louisiana. This successful partnership is also establishing the I-20 Cyber Corridor in North Louisiana as a leading location for growing technology companies.”

The collaboration with GDIT demonstrates how partnerships can transform a region’s economy. A driving force behind the rapid growth of North Louisiana’s Cyber Corridor is the expansion of the area’s IT-skilled workforce, in part fostered by our high education institutions’ push to dramatically expand their enrollment and graduation of computer-related majors.

“Louisiana Tech and our educational and corporate partners have made a commitment to helping create economic prosperity throughout our region,” President Les Guice, Louisiana Tech University. “This partnership has created a sustainable ecosystem for job creation, workforce training, and economic development throughout North Louisiana. Through innovative collaborations, our work with GDIT has resulted in national-scale impacts for our region. “

Louisiana Tech, BPCC and NSU developed new academic programs to support GDIT, hired additional faculty, upgraded technology and increased their enrollment in their Computer Information Systems, Computer Science, and other related IT programs to create a talent pipeline.

“We are delighted to be recognized in this way by the IEDC. What makes this award special is that it recognizes the value of partnerships,” said Chancellor Rick Bateman, Bossier Parish Community College. “To be clear, no one of us could have achieved the outstanding economic development results on our own. Partnerships matter, and we are grateful for the opportunity to work with world class partners in Louisiana Economic Development, General Dynamics Information Technology, Louisiana Tech University, and Northwestern State University.”

The GDIT partnership has been mutually beneficial for the higher education partners involved, because it has created a workforce pipeline for its graduates. The state funding allowed the schools to hire faculty and staff, created student scholarships, supported student recruitment efforts and faculty development. Input from GDIT also ensured university curriculum met industry needs.

Learn more at iedconline.org.