WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Greater Wichita Partnership and Paul Anderson, the CEO of Novacoast, announced on Thursday that the company has chosen Wichita for a new security operation center.
Novacoast is a privately held security company with a 24-year history. According to the company’s website, they help organizations find, create and implement solutions for a powerful security posture through advisory, engineering, development and managed services. It is based in Santa Barbara, Calif.
The company plans to hire 60 people in Wichita and will locate its new operation center at the Epic Center. The company said the 60 new job postings will be available today on Kansasworks.com. In the future, the company could hire more.
“The office for Novacoast will house sales, developers, cybersecurity engineers for delivery teams, and most importantly a new 24×7 security operations center in downtown Wichita,” said Anderson.
“The company has a strong leadership and strong global customer base of highly regulated such as banks, healthcare, and energy companies,” said Jeff Fluhr, Great Wichita Partnership president. “Those that are required to have the highest level of cybersecurity in identity and access management service.”
When asked why Anderson chose Wichita, he said he liked the revitalization efforts going on downtown. He also loved the food and dining the city offers. “We want to place where people want to work and live. That is the first thing I noticed,” Anderson said. “Your cost of doing business is very competitive compared to other states in the U.S.”
Mayor Brandon Whipple said the cybersecurity industry is growing and it will be the stability the city needs. “We really do want to strengthen our economy not just with what we do really well which is advanced manufacturing but get into more of the cybersecurity and more of the technical space,” said Mayor Whipple.
Anderson said he visited Wichita three times since December 2020 and was impressed with a tremendous amount of IT and cybersecurity resources already in the city. “Starting with educational institutions. I met personally with Wichita State, Butler, Friends, and WSU Tech. Really impressive programs creating great talent pools,” Anderson said. “We spend a lot of time training our employees. We want them to live in the community where we hire them.”
Mayor Whipple said they liked the collaborative approach Wichita has with the culture. He said “We like to work together not just inter-governmentally but in the private sector.”
Wichita State University said they are excited to collaborate with the business and have a new way for students to connect in the industry. WSU Ennovar Technology Solutions Executive Director, Matt Forney said it is a win-win situation.
“This will help students give students that applied to learn and that’s really our goal to even help build, you know, the state of Kansas, and this region is really bringing in those students and have them stay here,” said Forney.
Anderson also said the 184th Intelligence Wing for the Air National Guard at McConnell was another asset. “I have not found a place like Wichita,” Anderson said. “It is a truly unique place not only in the country but in the world.”
Lieutenant Governor David Toland and Commerce Secretary David Toland joined Senator Jerry Moran, Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple, and other local officials for Novacoast’s virtual announcement. “This will not only provide well-paying high-tech jobs to Wichitans, but Novacoast’s selection of Wichita is evidence of our focused efforts to diversify our regional economy,” said Mayor Whipple.
“Cybersecurity is the first initiative of the Framework for Growth’s Kansas Competitiveness Project, designed to bring new skills and technologies to drive our economic performance. We’re excited for your future here, and the important work you will do every day to help protect people and places in Kansas and well beyond,” said Lt. Gov. Toland.
Even 60 should help Wichita’s economy. Wichita State University’s Economic Decelopment and Business Research Director, Jeremy Hill, said with high paying jobs, there will be more disposable money coming into the community.
“We’ve had this shift of losing lost high income jobs and it’s shifting down which is actually weakening our overall economy, these are going to be higher paying jobs, they tend to be so that actually shifts us back up,” said Hill. “It does bring that diversification, something that is needed in this economy, a diverse economy helps support other sectors and it helps it grow helps us create some more stability.”
Hill said it will also give those in the military the chance to stay in Wichita as there is a job that they could possibly move to and there is room to move up the ladder in the company. He said a decade ago, city leaders were focused on diversifying the workforce. He said it isn’t an easy task and is impressed the city has followed through.