A new CSRA Customer Engagement Center set to open in Bossier City is anticipated to bring 300 jobs to help resolve complaints from CSRA’s federal government customers. The Virginia-based company plans to fill at least 150 positions within the next 12 months and the remaining jobs by the two-year mark.
“The entire Shreveport-Bossier region has been supportive of our project, and the fact that we’ve gotten such strong support made us want to expand our presence and continue the partnership,” said CSRA spokeswoman Shannon Booker. “Our desire is that the employees will enjoy the work they do, which will have a real impact on the safety, security, health and well-being of our nation.”
Booker said jobs would include customer service representatives, operations supervisors and quality assurance personnel.
“The CSRA Customer Engagement Center is a great opportunity for individuals who are just entering the workforce or are looking to make a career change,” Booker said.
Booker said the company is particularly interested in candidates who show competence with problem solving, multitasking, helpful communication and the ability to work efficiently alone and in a team environment. CSRA staff have already held a first round of interviews and made offers to more than 50 candidates.
“We continue to be impressed with the caliber and talent of the individuals that are applying for our roles, and combined with the support we have already received from the community, we are off to a very good start on this opportunity,” Booker said.
The new, direct jobs will average a salary of $22,000 and also will come with health benefits. The center will open at the Capital One building at 301 Benton Road in Bossier City.
“It’s a great opportunity for growing jobs here,” said Rocky Rockett, executive director of the Greater Bossier Economic Development Foundation.
CSRA hopes the job opportunities with the Customer Engagement Center — and also the new Integrated Technology Center, to open in fall of 2016 — will encourage university students to stay in the area upon graduation.
“We’re giving Louisianans who might have moved away to find a high-paying IT job a reason to move back. We’re also giving new graduates an opportunity to obtain a high-paying IT job without having to move to a neighboring city,” Booker said.
Expanding business opportunities
In a recent statement, Gov. John Bel Edwards said CSRA’s investment in Louisiana is a “testament to companies around the country and around the world” that Louisiana is a prime location for expanding technology investments. Bossier City Mayor Lo Walker also expressed his support of CSRA’s expansion plans.
“We are delighted that our growing partnership with CSRA has resulted in Bossier City being chosen as the new location for their Customer Engagement Center,” Walker said. “CSRA has placed their stamp of approval saying that Bossier means business, and we welcome them in our community.”
CSRA’s Chief Information Officer John Dancy said Bossier’s return investment has been “immeasurable.”
“We remain committed to bringing jobs and economic growth to Bossier City, and we’re eager to continue building brilliant teams who will help us lead our federal government customers into their digital futures,” Dancy said.
Gary Perilloux, communications director for Louisiana Economic Development, said employees will begin working after Labor Day in temporary space and that the renovated former Capital One building will open as the permanent CSRA Customer Engagement Center in early November.
Continuing community partnerships
Booker said Bossier City’s community resources make the city a “natural fit” for CSRA’s economic development opportunities.
“There is a great amount of potential in Bossier City from various perspectives, including economic development, job growth and partnerships,” Booker said. “Educational institutions like Bossier Parish Community College, Louisiana Tech University and others are teaching our future engineers and scientists, and we want to be part of the process so they are fully prepared when they enter the workforce.”
Bossier City’s Cyber Innovation Center’s Vice President G.B. Cazes said the center’s partnership with CSRA has exceeded his expectations.
“They’ve been great partners in working with local universities to prepare students. They want to hire local as much as they can,” Cazes said. “They’ve embraced our community, and we have a lot to offer.”
Paul Spivey, director of Bossier Parish Community College’s Cyber Program, said BPCC entered into partnership with CSRA in January 2014. The partnership allowed the college to align its IT curriculum more closely with industry needs and certification requirements, so that students faced better chances of being hired following graduation.
“Our partnership with them has been fruitful,” Spivey said. “My biggest thing is going beyond the classroom. We want to get students in front of the employer. We’ve had a lot of our students go through internships with them, get hired by them.”
Spivey said approximately 44 percent of all documented IT hires from the college went to work for CSRA, including for advanced positions at the Cyber Innovation Center, in the last two years of the college’s partnership with the company. The college has also partnered with CSRA for summer and co-op internship programs, IT certification boot camps, resume and interviewing workshops and also mock interviews for graduating students.
Spivey said that CSRA representatives will be present at BPCC’s upcoming Tech Career Fair on July 8.
IF YOU GO:
WHAT: Bossier Parish Community College Tech Career Fair
WHEN: Friday, July 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
WHERE: BPCC Gym, 6220 East Texas St, Bossier City
WHY: 40 vendors and companies will be present and seeking job candidates
Members of the public are invited to attend.