Why Louisiana’s Technology Push is So Important
Politically speaking, there are a lot of folks who aren't exactly fans of Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards or Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins. Which is perfectly fine and normal. But, regardless about what you think about these two men or their political leanings, they are doing one very important thing: they are doing everything in their powers to make Shreveport and Louisiana a technological hub. And I think we should give some credit where credit is due.
Now, for years, we've talked about how the state as a whole and Shreveport specifically have lost thousand of high paying jobs. Most of those jobs were factory work. Sadly, those industries probably will never come back to the state. In fact, most of those jobs don't even exist any more...at least not in the traditional sense. I know some of you are raising eyebrows and yelling at me through your computer or phone right now...we can debate whether or not high paying, low education jobs will ever return another time.
What I want to discuss is technology, cyber security and how Shreveport (and Louisiana as a whole) is killing it right now. If you have noticed, the world is run on technology these days. Everyone has a cell phone, jobs in any number of industries are being replaced by computers and robots, and a growing number of businesses are moving toward cloud based technologies. Just as an example, SWEPCO's outage map is run off of an Amazon-based cloud server. This stuff effects and influences more than you realize.
And that is why I think John Bel and Adrian deserve some praise and acknowledgement. Those two guys are doing everything they can to increase the tech industry in Louisiana and our area.
We'll start with the Governor. He has been slowly but surely building a technology pipeline. He's courted tech firms and brought them to the state, he's brokered deals between state colleges and various companies to increase tech education (look at the recent partnership between Amazon and Louisiana Tech and Community Colleges) and he's been showing the entire country that Shreveport/Bossier is a cyber security hub that everyone needs to be apart of. In fact, the Governor is bringing the National Governor's conference to Shreveport to teach them about cyber security and to show them what our area can do for them.
Adrian for his part has hired Keith Hanson, which may end up being the single best decision he makes aS mayor. Keith is working WITH businesses to find out what they need entry level employees to know before they join the work force. He's then giving that information to local educators to make sure they are building a well educated and qualified work force. For instance, manufacturing companies don't really have "lines" any more, they have robots that people "troubleshoot". Keith is making sure kids have the baseline knowledge they need to operate that kind of equipment. Plus, what kids will need to be able to jump into some of the higher level jobs like the governor is building.
The world is changing. And, for once, the state of Louisiana and Shreveport are out in front of that change instead of lagging behind.