In December, as the legislative session was about to kick into high gear, two well-connected Georgia business leaders approached Gov. Nathan Deal’s office with an ambitious idea for the state to build a high-tech training center to assist the NSA and U.S. Army Cyber Command, which just weeks earlier had broken ground on its future headquarters at Fort Gordon.
It would need to be built quickly to stringent national security specifications to handle classified intelligence. But such a center could bolster the state’s claim as a vital center in the nation’s sprawling intelligence network.
On Monday, just six months later, Gov. Nathan Deal and leaders in Augusta held a ceremonial groundbreaking to mark construction of the Georgia Cyber Innovation and Training Center, a $60 million compound that will feature research and classroom space for Augusta University and the state’s technical colleges, as well as office space for established and startup companies.
About 28,000 civilians in Georgia work in cybersecurity. About 13,000, including military personnel, work in cybersecurity in the Augusta area, Deal said Monday.