A California company that specializes in cybersecurity technology plans to open an office in Wichita.
Novacoast expects to immediately hire 60 people for its Security Operations Center, which will be located in the Epic Center downtown. It hopes the office will be open in three to four months. Employment could eventually increase to 100 people.
Officials with the Greater Wichita Partnership made the announcement Thursday. They have made growing the region’s IT industry a priority.
Jeff Fluhr, president of the Greater Wichita Partnership, said there are about 100 tech companies in the Wichita area.
“Cybersecurity and IT systems and support are identified as target industries for our growth in the regional growth plan,” Fluhr said. “The regional growth plan is our region’s strategy to grow our economy through business attraction, expansion and existing industries.”
Novacoast, based in Santa Barbara, California, was founded in 1996 and has about 350 employees. It has clients both nationally and internationally, including banks, health care firms and energy companies. It also serves government agencies like NASA, the IRS and the Federal Reserve System.
Novacoast has operations in nine states and four countries outside the U.S. It was looking for another expansion site when it was contacted by the Greater Wichita Partnership.
“Your cost of doing business here in Wichita is very competitive, especially compared to other states in the U.S. …” said Novacoast CEO Paul Anderson. “And you have a tremendous amount of IT and cybersecurity resources in your community.”
Anderson cited programs at Wichita State University, WSU Tech, Butler Community College and Friends University. He also mentioned the 184th Intelligence Wing of the Kansas Air National Guard at McConnell Air Force Base.
The state Department of Commerce says a number of incentives were offered to Novacoast, including Promoting Employment Across Kansas. The program allows companies to retain or be refunded 95% of the payroll withholding tax for new jobs created in Kansas.
A Greater Wichita Partnership spokesperson said no local financial incentives were provided to Novacoast.
Thursday’s virtual announcement included appearances by U.S Sen. Jerry Moran, Kansas Lt. Gov. David Toland, Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple and Sedgwick County Commission Chairman Pete Meitzner. They were among a team of more than 20 people who helped lure Novacoast to Wichita.
Toland, who was previously secretary of Commerce for the state of Kansas, said the move is part of an ongoing effort to diversify Wichita’s economy.
“We will always be the Air Capital of the World in Wichita,” he said, “but we can be the capital of other sectors as well.”