On Tuesday, Idaho lawmakers approved a $90 million bond to fund the construction of two new Idaho National Laboratory buildings: the Cybercore Integration Center and the Collaborative Computing Center.
As reported in the Post Register, the Cybercore Integration Center will serve as a research, education and training facility for cybersecurity work and the Collaborative Computing Center will host a new supercomputer for modeling and simulation workloads. University partners in the state will also be able to use the supercomputer for their research and education efforts.
The activities are expected to bring 500 high-paying tech jobs into the area, plus approximately 1,000 temporary construction jobs.
“When the laboratory does well, Idaho does well,” said Idaho Rep. Jeff Thompson in an Op-Ed column. “INL is Idaho’s sixth-largest private employer with nearly 4,200 employees who earn an average salary of $92,000. Last year, INL spent $136 million with Idaho’s small businesses and accounted for nearly 3 percent of the state’s total economic output.”
The resolution passed the Idaho house on a 56-14 vote with support from both parties:
“This will probably be the only debt bill I will vote for in my entire legislative career,” said Rep. Bryan Zollinger, R-Idaho Falls, who is in his first term.
The Idaho National Laboratory is the nation’s lead nuclear research and development laboratory. Cybersecurity is a major growth area for the lab and its educational partners. Last year, Boise State University and the University of Idaho received over $3 million in grant-based investment to advance course offerings in control systems cybersecurity and facilitate the development of highly trained cybersecurity workforce.
The new buildings will be located near the Center for Advanced Energy Studies campus in Idaho Falls. Construction will commence this spring and will take about 15 months to complete.