As part of its mission to recruit diverse cybersecurity talent and build the workforce of the future, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has awarded $2 million to two innovative organizations for development of cyber workforce training programs. The NPower and CyberWarrior organizations, which received the awards, will focus on the unemployed and underemployed; underserved communities in urban and rural areas; as well as traditionally underserved populations, to include veterans, military spouses, women, people of color. The awards are the first of their kind from CISA. Their announcement coincides with week three of CISA’s Cybersecurity Summit and its theme, “Team Awesome: The Cyber Workforce.”
“Addressing the cyber workforce shortage requires us to proactively seek out, find, and foster prospective talent from nontraditional places. 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,” 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’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 is honored to take part in the Cybersecurity Workforce Development and Training Pilot for Underserved Communities,” said Reinier Moquete, founder of the CyberWarrior Foundation. “Working with CISA and other stakeholders, our 28-week bootcamp program will train persons from underserved populations for a career in cybersecurity. We encourage prospective students, employers and workforce stakeholders to reach out and join us in building opportunities for these individuals.”
“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,” said Bertina Ceccarelli, CEO of NPower. “We are honored for the support from CISA, which will enable NPower to expand our reach to trainees across the country.”
This latest workforce development effort from CISA that aims to benefit communities and populations that may not currently have access to cybersecurity training programs. The pilot program compliments CISA’s other workforce development initiatives aimed at expanding both the current and future pool of cyber talent, including the CYBER.org initiative and Cyber Education and Training Assistance Program, which target K-12 students and educators, as well as partnerships with organizations such as the Girl Scouts and Girls Who Code.
About the program:
CyberWarrior and NPower will collaborate with CISA to develop a scalable and replicable proof of concept to successfully identify and train talented individuals around the country, helping to address the staggering cybersecurity workforce shortage facing our nation and playing a vital role in meeting the dynamic, innovative needs of the cybersecurity workplace. Tapping into their innovative, non-traditional job training and apprenticeships programs will help the federal government; state, local, tribal, and territorial entities; as well as private sector employers address current and future cyber workforce needs.
The three-year pilot program aims to:
- Develop and implement a comprehensive cybersecurity pathways retention strategy;
- Deliver entry-level cybersecurity training through innovative training hubs;
- Provide hands-on and professional development experience through apprenticeships; and
- Decrease the cybersecurity workforce shortage by placing talented individuals into entry-level cybersecurity jobs.
CyberWarrior Foundation increases opportunity and economic mobility for people of all backgrounds via training, mentorship, and technology.
NPower is a national nonprofit, rooted in community, that is committed to advancing race and gender equity in the tech industry.
For more information about career opportunities and workforce development programs at CISA, please visit: cisa.gov/careers.