Brett Blume (@brettblumekmox)

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency director Robert Cardillo is thinking ahead — way ahead — when it comes to staffing the new NGA West facility in north St. Louis.

During a stop in town to view progress on the site Wednesday, Cardillo spoke at a town hall meeting with residents and city officials.

There he announced that they’re expanding a K-12 outreach program that emphasizes the skills that today’s grade schoolers will need to someday work at NGA West.

“At the heart of this outreach is an emphasis on science, technology, math, geospatial information systems and geographic literacy,” Cardillo explained. “Now given that we plan to open the campus in 2024, our interns that summer are in seventh grade today, and let’s not wait ’til then to meet one another.”

Actual construction’s still more than a year away, but Cardillo said prep work for the new NGA West site in north St. Louis remains on schedule.

screen shot 2016 08 31 at 3 12 37 pm NGA West Looks To Youth To Fill Employee Ranks

According to Otis Williams, executive director of the St. Louis Development Corporation, the city has knocked down 134 of the 137 homes and businesses that need to be moved for the 97-acre site, and the Corps of Engineers has selected 3 finalists to design the new facility.

In addition, the first eight employees of NGA West have been hired through LaunchCode – all of them St. Louis-based software designers.

While in town, Cardillo revealed that the new NGA West facility will be built with a 20% larger capacity than their current facility in south St. Louis near the Anheuser-Busch brewery.

That means when it opens in 2024, NGA West will have the ability to expand from its current work force of 3,150 to more than 3,700.

“We will design and build a campus that we think you’ll be proud of,” added Cardillo.


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