Category Archives: Blog

Boost your customer service with BPCC’s Success Course

BPCC and the Bossier Chamber of Commerce are partnering together to host a Communication & Customer Service for Business Success course. The session will take place on Thursday, July 11 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at BPCC in Building E, Room 226. This course is open to Bossier Chamber of Commerce members only.Students will learn how to:

  • Assess customer needs
  • Educate customers
  • Provide ongoing support
  • Learn about products or services

The cost is $100 per member, but only $50 for the first 20 people that sign up for the course. That’s a $314 value for only $50! Registration for the course must be made by June 14. 

If you are interested in the program, contact Katie Theriot, Director of Business Development.

5 things you’ll learn at Let’s Talk About: Compete LA

The universities in the Louisiana system are working to help adults through the Compete LA program. Come learn more about this informational initiative on Tuesday, June 18 at 8 a.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn & Homewood Suites. 

This event is hosted by the Bossier Chamber of Commerce, along with partners Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce, North Louisiana Economic Partnership and Shreveport-Bossier African American Chamber of Commerce.  

Here are 5 things you’ll learn at the event:

  • Internship opportunities for students are important as is supporting existing employees with some college credit by encouraging them to re-enroll to finish their degrees.
  • Compete LA coaches help students to apply and find the program that is right for them. They can help them decide between online, hybrid or eight-week courses.
  • Dr. Jim Henderson will break down the program and how it is designed to build our workforce.
  • Get the statistics. How many people are short of completing their degree and how can this program help?
  • Learn how as a participating business, you will receive maximum exposure on the Compete LA website.

Buy your ticket today!

JOHNSON OFFICE TO HOST SATELLITE OFFICE HOURS THIS WEEK

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Mike Johnson’s (LA-04) office will host satellite office hours in Sabine, Bossier and Beauregard Parishes this Thursday. We encourage members of the community to stop by if they are in need of assistance with federal agencies.

Sabine Satellite Office Hours

WHERE:               

Many Courthouse

400 South Capitol Street, Room 101

Many, LA 71449

WHEN:

Thursday, June 6, 2019

9:00 – 10:00 a.m. CT

Bossier Satellite Office Hours

WHERE:               

Bossier Parish Library

Anna P. Tooke Memorial Branch

451 Fairview Point Road

Elm Grove, LA 71051

WHEN:

Thursday, June 6, 2019

10:00 – 11:00 a.m. CT

Beauregard Satellite Office Hours

WHERE:               

DeRidder City Hall

City Council Chamber

200 South Jefferson Street

DeRidder, LA 70634

WHEN:

Thursday, June 6, 2019

1:00 – 2:30 p.m. CT

These events are hosted by staff. Please note, the congressman will not be in attendance.

Sign up for Boots to Business

Boots to Business (B2B) is an entrepreneurial education and training program offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as part of the Department of Defense Transition Assistance Program (TAP). SBDC will be hosting a Boots to Business Seminar at 8 a.m. on Thursday, June 6 at Bossier Parish Community College (Building F, Room 203).

The course provides an overview of entrepreneurship and applicable business ownership fundamentals. Active Duty service members (including National Guard and Reserve), Veterans of all eras, and spouses are eligible to participate. Participants that complete an in-person B2B Reboot course can elect to further their study through one of many B2B online courses, offered at no cost to service members, Veterans and military spouses.

Sign up for the seminar here!

Bossier Chamber seeks nominations from the public to recognize local patriots

BOSSIER CITY — The Bossier Chamber of Commerce’s annual Patriot Awards honor our local first responders who go above and beyond the call of duty. The Chamber is asking the public to nominate first responders – Law Enforcement, Fire/EMS, Emergency Communicators and Military members (active, reserve and guard) – who they have witnessed showing integrity, hard work and courage while in the line of duty in Bossier and Caddo parishes in the last year. 

Nominations are being accepted online at https://www.bossierchamber.com/what-we-do/business-awards/patriot-awards/. Deadline for entries is August 16. Winners will be honored at the Bossier Chamber’s 2019 Patriot Awards, presented by Willis-Knighton Health System with awards sponsor Shreveport Communications, on Sept. 11, at 11:30 a.m.

Nominees will be evaluated using the following criteria:

  • Demonstrates excellence in job performance in extraordinary circumstances.
  • Provides valuable service by volunteering their time to improve the quality of life for others in the community.
  • Goes above and beyond their call to duty. (We are looking for that one “special” first responder who might have a story or event to tell that made him/her go above and beyond.)

Tickets and tables are available for the Patriot Awards luncheon. They are available online at www.bossierchamber.com/shop or by phone at (318) 746-0252.

BPCC & CIC partner for sixth annual Community College Cyber Summit (3CS)

This year from July 30-August 1, BPCC and CIC are partnering for the Community College Cyber Summit (3CS). 3CS is the only national academic conference focused on cybersecurity education at America’s community colleges. 3CS is organized and produced by Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Centers through the National Science Foundation (NSF). The outcomes of 3CS leverage community college cybersecurity programs across the nation by introducing the latest technologies, best practices, curricula, products, and more.

How can you participate?

STUDENTS: The summit will kick off with a job fair on July 30, 2019. Invited attendees include cybersecurity students in two and four-year degree programs as well as recent graduates. These attendees will have the knowledge and hands-on skills for entry-level security positions and be ready for hire.

EMPLOYERS: Become an Employer at the 3CS Pre-Summit Job Fair. Become a Diamond, Platinum, Gold, Silver, or Government Partner. Send your staff to network with educators who influence academic program content across the nation.

Who should attend?

> Business and industry leaders who want to influence cybersecurity education programs, recruit cybersecurity students, or sell cybersecurity-related products.

> Colleges and universities interested in increasing their transfer population by marketing their degree program at 3CS and liaising with community college faculty who can recommend students to attend their institutions.

> Employers interested in discovering excellent cybersecurity talent. All employers are invited to a National CyberWatch Center luncheon with educators who create and shape academic program content at a local and national level.

> Federal, state, and local government officials who wish to hire cybersecurity students.

For more information and to partner with 3CS, please visit www.my3cs.org or contact the following:

Dr. Vera Zdravkovich zdravkovich@gmail.com with Job Fair Questions

Chris Rondeau crondeau@bpcc.edu (318) 678-6317


North Louisiana a major player in cybersecurity

Louisiana’s cybersecurity efforts were on display for the nation at the National Governor’s Association National Summit on Cybersecurity held in Shreveport-Bossier last week and North Louisiana showed it is an example for collaboration and cybersecurity advancement in the nation.

“The I-20 corridor in Louisiana is now one of the fastest growing cyber security regions, not just in Louisiana, not just in the South, but in the nation,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards during his keynote address at the summit. “I believe Louisiana can become an example for others.”

In 2017, the Governor’s Office created the Louisiana Cybersecurity Commission to create a whole-state approach to cybersecurity and protect the government, businesses and citizens. This government structure is designed to “break down the communication barriers between the government and industry in order to build the trust that was necessary to move the state forward.”

Many states offer similar structures and throughout the summit, it was clear all of the states rely heavily on their National Guard, a unique group of individuals who serve in both the private and public sector and bring a wealth of expertise, particularly in the cybersecurity realm.

 “Perhaps the most important part of cybersecurity is workforce training and that is something we have had a laser focus on in Louisiana,” Edwards said.

Edwards moderated a panel on just that: Preparing the next generation of cybersecurity professionals in Louisiana. This panel included Dr. Rick Bateman, Chancellor of Bossier Parish Community College; Dr. Les Guice, President of La. Tech University; Rick Gallot, President of Grambling State University; Yogesh Khanna, Chief Technology Officer at General Dynamics Information Technology; Ralph Russo, Director of Information Technology Programs at Tulane University; and Craig Spohn, Executive Director of the Cyber Innovation Center.

The Governor touted the programs offered at the colleges and universities, particularly those in North Louisiana as BPCC boasts three associates degrees, one academic certificate and two technical competency areas in cyber; Louisiana Tech offers the nation’s first four-year degree in cyber engineering and anticipates with that degree the university will soon be first in the number of cyber engineering degrees awarded in the nation; Grambling State University is offering the state’s first four-year degree in cybersecurity starting in the fall of 2019 and the university already is in the Top 50 nationally for the number of African-American graduates in computer science and computer information systems.

One point that was clear throughout the conference was reiterated by Bateman during the panel: Cybersecurity is for everyone. And, BPCC has a vision for embedding cyber into all of its programs to build a generational workforce that is better prepared to defend against cyber attacks.

Barksdale Air Force Base is also a large part of the I-20 technology corridor as well. Khanna said “veterans are a strong part of our fabric” as the company has veterans as 30 percent of their workforce.

Guice pointed to their partnerships with companies as key to their degrees and success as GDIT for example has taken students into their facilities.

Related Links:

Louisiana Tech students prepare for ‘Cyber Storm 2019’

Governors gather for National Governor’s Conference – National Summit on State Cybersecurity

Lawmakers hope to put Louisiana on the map for cybersecurity efforts

Bossier City high school’s cyber team wins national competition

The Air Force just gave working spouses a boost for PCS moves

The Air Force will now reimburse spouses of airmen up to $500 to pay for new state-required licenses or recertifications for their jobs when their families are reassigned to another state.

The new Spouse Licensure Reimbursement Program, which took effect May 15, will cover at least some of those costs incurred during permanent change-of-station or change-of-assignment moves that were authenticated on or after Dec. 12, 2017, the Air Force said in a Wednesday release. This is the first time the Air Force will reimburse these costs.

Some states allow “reciprocity,” or recognize occupational licenses or certifications issued by other states, but not all. As a result, some working military spouses had to spend hundreds of dollars getting relicensed or recertified when their families were transferred. Military services were authorized to begin offering these reimbursements under the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act.

“Part of taking care of airmen and families means making it easier for spouses to continue their careers after a military move,” Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said.

Under the new policy, at least some of the fees for exams, certifications and registrations for jobs such as — but not limited to — teaching, cosmetology, real estate and nursing would be reimbursed. These costs must be incurred and paid after the date the airman’s orders to move have come through, but no more than 24 months after that point.

According to a frequently asked questions document posted on the Air Force Personnel Center’s website, the program will apply to active duty, Guard or Reserve airmen and their families. Transfers to or from duty stations in U.S. territories and Washington, D.C., will also qualify.

But moves as a result of accessions, Career Intermission Program sabbaticals, retirement or separation from the armed forces will not be eligible for reimbursement. Moves to or from overseas locations also will not qualify.

Click here for the full article.

Bossier Parish Graduation Rate Reaches All-Time High

Before the Bossier Parish Senior Class of 2018-19 graduates this weekend, the Louisiana Department of Education is focusing on the preceding class that reached an all-time high school graduation rate in Bossier Parish.

State graduation rate data for 2017-18 was released today and Bossier Schools received news 85.7 percent of its previous class graduated, reflecting a gain of 2.4 percentage points from the previous year and setting a record number of students receiving their high school diploma. Three success stories, in particular, were at Benton High School, where the cohort graduation rate reached 93.3 percent; Bossier High saw its graduation rate skyrocket by more than 14 percentage points; and Plain Dealing increased its number of graduates by nearly four percentage points.

Not only did more students graduate than ever before, but more than half the Senior Class of 2017-18 throughout Bossier Parish earned credentials beyond their high school diploma. This is the result of them taking advantage of opportunities such as Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment, as well as Industry Based Certifications (IBCs), a direct correlation that indicates a student’s preparedness for college or readiness for the workforce. As a result, a rise of more than 2 percentage points was also seen in the district’s strength of diploma.

“This is the culmination of a lot of hard work,” said Bossier Schools Superintendent Mitch Downey. “Our high school accountability coaches are one of the main reasons we are seeing this level of success. They focus on opportunities for our students and outcomes, while working in partnership with their entire teaching staff that is also working collaboratively. It is all vital to our children’s academic success and directly impacts school scores and graduation rates.”

GOV. EDWARDS ANNOUNCES CYBER CENTER PARTNERSHIP IN LOUISIANA

Cybint Solutions, Bossier Parish Community College to create cyber asset for employers, educators
Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards joined Chancellor Rick Bateman of Bossier Parish Community College and Chief Operations Officer Bryan Dickens of Cybint Solutions Inc. to announce a new cyber center partnership at the Northwest Louisiana college.In a ceremony at the Cyber Innovation Center in Bossier City, Bateman and Dickens signed a Memorandum of Understanding committing the parties to the development of a cyber center that will be located at Bossier Parish Community College’s Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Technology. The BPCC building will host ongoing cybersecurity training, credential coursework, and field exercises on a virtual cyber range for in-person trainees and online participants across the state and around the world.

Read more about the announcement.