Grants totaling nearly $1 million ended up granted for five projects that are taking a community approach to addressing the nation’s shortage of skilled cybersecurity employees.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)-led National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), a partnership between government, academia and the private sector, will oversee the grants as part of its mission to support cybersecurity education, training and workforce development.
“The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education grants support job-driven training programs designed to fill the many cybersecurity job openings in both the public and private sectors,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.
A 2015 analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data by Stanford University’s Peninsula Press found that there were more than 209,000 open cybersecurity positions
in the United States, and the number of job postings had risen 74 percent in the previous five years.
NIST will fund five nonprofit organizations to establish partnerships to increase the pipeline of students pursuing cybersecurity careers, help more Americans attain the skills they need for well-paying jobs in cybersecurity, and support local economic development to stimulate job growth.
The following organizations will enter into cooperative agreements with NIST:
Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education (SOCHE) — Central Region, Dayton, Ohio: $198,759.
SOCHE’s Cybersecurity Consortium will lead the new Cincinnati-Dayton Cyber Corridor RAMPS project. SOCHE members include the Air Force Institute of Technology, Dayton Development Coalition, University of Cincinnati, University of Dayton and Wright State University. They will work with Cincinnati’s extensive commercial sector and Dayton’s large Department of Defense industry to provide a rich environment for higher education to address the complex workforce demands of cybersecurity.
Old Dominion University — Mid-Atlantic Region, Norfolk, Virginia: $199,883.
The university’s Center for Cybersecurity Education and Research will coordinate the Hampton Roads Cybersecurity Education, Workforce and Economic Development Alliance. It will include two community colleges, two large public school districts, two universities, a large local private employer, a major federal research lab, and several small businesses. The project also will benefit from the advocacy and support of the City of Virginia Beach’s Economic Development Office and Reinvent HR, a Hampton Roads-based workforce initiative.
State University of New York at Albany — Northeast Region, Albany, New York: $197,085.
The Partnership to Advance Cybersecurity Education and Training aligns with the university’s goals to support science, education and workforce capacity within the community. New York’s Capital Region has a unique workforce potential, with its range of higher education institutions and STEM graduates, and growing advanced technology sectors. The project will seek to build clear educational paths and increase regional workforce capacity for a range of potential careers in cybersecurity, based on industry needs.
Chicanos Por La Causa — Southwest Region, Phoenix, Arizona: $199,808.
The Arizona Statewide Cyber Workforce Consortium, comprising Chicanos Por La Causa and Cyber Security Canyon, will develop a unified approach to creating cybersecurity resources from a number of existing efforts developed in the past five years. The partnership seeks to connect applicants from traditional and nontraditional training backgrounds to provide skilled workers for the growing number of cybersecurity positions in the region’s critical infrastructure segments, including manufacturing, health care and the defense industrial base.
Pikes Peak Community College — Western Region, Colorado Springs, Colorado: $199,681.
The RAMPS grant will fund the next phase of the Pikes Peak Community College Cyber Prep Program to establish a formal, sustainable partnership between secondary school districts, employers and the college. Plans include building cybersecurity workforce development pathways to address local workforce needs. The funding will support development of cybersecurity programs in area high schools and in the college’s Area Vocational Program, creating a summer cyber work experience for high school students and exploring registered apprenticeships to ensure a sustainable cyber workforce for the future.
The awardees will provide details of their projects at the NICE 2016 Conference and Expo, November 1-2, in Kansas City, Missouri.