The Cyber Innovation Center in Bossier City will get a $2.35 million grant that is part of $22.8 million included in the fiscal year 2012 Homeland Security Appropriations bill for cyber education and outreach activities, authored by Louisiana’s senior solon, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu.

The New Orleans Democrat, chairwoman of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, said the center is eligible for the funds because of the merits of its cyber security education program, which serves as a nationwide model.

In a release, Landrieu says the funding continues efforts to build a highly skilled work force and improve awareness of the importance of cyber security for the nation.

“The Cyber Innovation Center serves as a model for the rest of the country on how to educate and train a cyber security work force,” she says. “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 work force 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.”

CIC head Craig Spohn agreed. “Sen. Landrieu has continued to show great support for new, innovative cyber education and work force development initiatives. Her leadership has helped blaze a new path that will not only build our nation’s future cyber work force, but also help secure our nation’s interest and its future as an economic force in the free world.”

This funding through the Homeland Security Department’s Cybersecurity Education and Training Assistance Program will support the start of a Cyber Discovery model. Homeland Security will evaluate this model to determine whether it can be implemented in other states. The CIC has been an integral part of Homeland Security’s efforts to develop critical cyber security education programs. In July 2010, the center 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,” said G.B. Cazes, CIC vice president. “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 work force.”

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano visited the CIC with Landrieu in August as part of a tour of Louisiana homeland security sites.