Nicholls Awarded DRA Grant, Will Create Cybersecurity Training Program

Business Classroom Stock 2019 (Misty Leigh McElroy/Nicholls State University) 2/14/19

THIBODAUX, La. — The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) has awarded Nicholls State University $150,000 to establish a cybersecurity and cyber-defense training program.

Using on-campus knowledge, local nonprofits and economic agencies, Nicholls will create a sustainable program that expands cybersecurity training and cyber-defense knowledge.

Nicholls Continuing Education will work together with the Institute for Industry-Education Collaboration to develop the training curriculum. Their goal is to train nearly 150 workers in Lafourche, Terrebonne and St. Mary parishes over one year. The program is expected to begin in early 2021. 

The demand for information security analysts will increase by 28 percent through 2026, according to estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As of 2018, the median pay within the industry is $98,000 per year. Nicholls President Dr. Jay Clune noted that this program aligns with the goals of Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards.

“The downturn in the oil and gas industry combined with the economic impacts of COVID-19 have left many Louisiana workers without jobs. This is a unique opportunity to provide our state and the Bayou Region with sustainable training in a high-demand industry,” said Nicholls President Dr. Jay Clune. “This collaboration is the best of both worlds. We can offer continuing education for our community while strengthening our state’s economy. I want to thank Rep. Garret Graves and his staff, who made us aware of this grant opportunity and supported our efforts from day one. I also want to acknowledge the support of Sen. Bill Cassidy and his staff, as well as State Rep. Joe Orgeron.”

Instructor of computer and information systems, Terry Evans, will work with the Small Business Development Center at Nicholls, the South Louisiana Economic Council and other industry partners to conduct the training. 

The DRA awarded 13 total projects totaling $1.7 million across the southeast, including three in Louisiana.

The DRA is a federal-state partnership created by Congress in 2000 to promote and encourage the economic development of the lower Mississippi River Delta and Alabama Black Belt. For more information, visit or contact Liz McCurry, director of continuing education, at 448-4521 or

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020

MEDIA CONTACT: Jacob Batte, Media Relations and Publications Coordinator, 985.448.4141 or