The United States’ Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has awarded two organizations $2m to develop cybersecurity workforce training programs.
Award recipients NPower and CyberWarrior will use the cash injection to bring cybersecurity training to the unemployed and to underemployed communities.
CISA announced the awards yesterday to coincide with the third week of its Cybersecurity Summit, organized on the theme, “Team Awesome: The Cyber Workforce.” The awards are the first of their kind for the agency, whose mission includes recruiting diverse cybersecurity talent and building the workforce of the future.
“Addressing the cyber workforce shortage requires us to proactively seek out, find, and foster prospective talent from nontraditional places,” said CISA Director Jen Easterly.
“CISA is dedicated to recruiting and training individuals from all areas and all backgrounds with the aptitude and attitude to succeed in this exciting field.”
The programs will focus on training underserved communities in urban and rural areas and seek to recruit traditionally underrepresented groups in the cybersecurity industry, such as military spouses, women, and people of color.
“It’s not just the right thing to do; it’s the smart thing to do – for the mission and the country,” said Easterly.
“We’re best positioned to solve the cyber challenges facing our nation when we have a diverse range of thought bringing every perspective to the problem.”
CyberWarrior Foundation founder Reinier Moquete said CyberWarrior will work with CISA and other stakeholders to train persons from underserved populations via a 28-week cybersecurity bootcamp program.
“We encourage prospective students, employers and workforce stakeholders to reach out and join us in building opportunities for these individuals,” said Moquete.
NPower CEO Bertina Ceccarelli said CISA’s support will enable NPower to expand the reach of its training program across the United States.
She said: “NPower’s cybersecurity program offers young adults and veterans the opportunity to advance their careers and deepen their specialties. This is particularly important for individuals coming from underrepresented communities that systemically lack access to those specialized skills.”
Other workforce development efforts made by CISA include the CYBER.org initiative and the K-12 student- and teacher-oriented Cyber Education and Training Assistance Program.