Good evening. I’m honored to be here with you.
It’s a privilege to join Mayor Krewson at this neighborhood event.
Last June I officially determined North St. Louis City as the site of our future campus. I am even more confident today that North St. Louis was the right choice.
First and foremost we have been so very impressed by the commitment of the city, state and region. The progress the city has made to clear the land for construction is extraordinary. Mayor Krewson, thank you and your team for your tireless work.
Second, I have been humbled by the sacrifice and support of the citizens of St Louis and more specifically those in this neighborhood directly affected by the decision. I can only hope that our future contributions will bring pride to the community.
Third, I am more and more struck by St Louis’ strong and growing presence as a leading hub for technology and innovation. Organizations and institutions across the region have opened their doors to the possibilities and opportunities that lie ahead. T-Rex, CORTEX, St. Louis University and Washington University in St. Louis to name just a few.
Let me assure you the NGA team is equally committed to our promise to be a contributing partner in the future of this neighborhood, the city and the region.
Allow me to briefly update you on our progress:
The Corps of Engineers selected three design teams to compete for the contract to design and build the new NGA campus.
The request for proposal will be issued to these teams later this week, and selection of a firm should be made in late 2018.
We are also fully committed to being good neighbors:
We want to and will solicit your ideas about how the campus should look. We have identified an outreach coordinator, Quinton Bateman, to work with you on your ideas, and share ours.
We will design and build a campus you will be proud of. We want it to fit well with the local landscape. While we must meet security requirements, we will aim to be as open and welcoming as we can. Your voice matters. Please share your ideas with Quinton and our team.
In addition to building our facilities to be more accessible, NGA is committed to outreach and interaction with industry and academic partners.
We are excited by initiatives like LaunchCode created by tech talent provider and St. Louis native Jim McKelvey.
NGA is partnering with LaunchCode to find skilled talent. The first five employees hired through that program will begin work in January.
We are also actively engaging with local universities in geospatial research and curriculum development.
Finally, and appropriately here in a middle school, we are increasing our K-12 outreach to better inspire and equip students with the skills to be the next generation of NGA employees. At the heart of this outreach is an emphasis on science, technology, mathematics, geospatial information systems, and geographic literacy.
In closing, thank you for the opportunity to be here tonight and for the remarkable support you have demonstrated time and time again.