Organizations awarded $ 2 million to teach rural residents how to become cybersecurity pros amid labor shortage


TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – As Cyber ​​Security Awareness Month draws to a close, $ 2 million has been awarded to organizations that strive to teach rural residents how to become cybersecurity professionals in a context of unprecedented labor shortage in the industry.

In order to recruit diverse cybersecurity talent and build a workforce of the future, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency says it has awarded $ 2 million to two organizations to develop cyber workforce training programs. ‘artwork.

NPower and CyberWarrior, both award-winning organizations, will focus on the unemployed and underemployed; underserved communities, urban and rural areas; and traditionally underserved populations, including veterans, military spouses, women and people of color.

“Solving the IT workforce shortage requires us to proactively seek, find and nurture potential talent in non-traditional places. CISA is dedicated to recruiting and training people from all walks of life and from all walks of life with the right skills and attitude to succeed in this exciting field, ”said CISA Director Jen Easterly. “It’s not just the right thing to do; it’s the smart thing to do – for the mission and the country. We are in the best position to solve the cyber challenges facing our country when we have a wide range of thoughts bringing all perspectives to the issue. “

CISA said the awards are the first of their kind and coincide with its third week of Cyber ​​Security Summit themed “Team Awesome; The cyber workforce.

The agency said this latest workforce development effort is intended to benefit communities and populations who may not currently have access to cybersecurity training programs. He said the pilot program complements his other workforce development initiatives, which means expanding the current and future pool of cyber talent, including the initiatives and the Workforce Assistance Program. online education and training, which target primary school students and teachers, as well as partnerships. with organizations like Girl Scouts and Girls Who Code.

“CyberWarrior is honored to participate in the Cybersecurity Training and Workforce Development Pilot Project for Under-Served Communities,” said Reinier Moquete, Founder of the CyberWarrior Foundation. “In collaboration with CISA and other stakeholders, our 28-week Bootcamp program will train people from underserved populations for careers in cybersecurity. We encourage potential students, employers and workforce stakeholders to join us and create opportunities for these people.

CISA said organizations will team up to develop scalable and replicable proof of concept to successfully find and train talented people nationwide, which will help address the workforce shortage. in cybersecurity that America faces and plays a vital role in the dynamic and innovative needs of cybersecurity. workplace.

“NPower’s cybersecurity program offers young adults and veterans the opportunity to advance their careers and deepen their specialties. This is especially important for people from under-represented communities who consistently do not have access to these specialized skills, ”said Bertina Ceccarelli, CEO of NPower. “We are honored to have support from CISA, which will allow NPower to extend our reach to interns across the country. “

Building on innovative and non-traditional vocational training and learning programs, CISA said the current and future needs of the cyber workforce will be met. He said the three-year program aims to:

  • Develop and implement a comprehensive cybersecurity pathway retention strategy;
  • Provide basic cybersecurity training through innovative training centers;
  • Provide practical experience and professional development through learning; and
  • Reduce the cybersecurity workforce shortage by placing talented people in entry-level cybersecurity jobs.

October is also Cyber ​​Security Awareness Month, and the Kansas Division of Emergency Management has shared advice from CISA on how to be safe online, including:

  • Set a strong password, change it regularly, and don’t share it with anyone.
  • Do not include the names of children or pets or other known information about yourself.
  • Use a combination of lowercase and uppercase letters.
  • Break up works with numbers and punctuation marks or other symbols.
  • Avoid using common words in your passwords and passphrases.

For more information on career opportunities and workforce development programs at CISA, click HERE.

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