CyberWarrior Foundation Awarded $1 Million Grant From Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to Develop Cyber Workforce Training Program
First award of its kind from CISA targeting underserved communities in urban and rural areas; will deliver trainees during 3-year pilot program
CyberWarrior, a national cybersecurity skills training leader based in Boston, has been awarded $1 million from the federal government’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to develop cyber workforce training programs. This first-of-a-kind award from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) will focus on the unemployed and underemployed, underserved communities in urban and rural areas including veterans, military spouses, women, and people of color.
“CyberWarrior is honored to be awarded this CISA grant that focuses on 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.”
CyberWarrior will collaborate with CISA to develop a scalable and replicable concept to help address the staggering cybersecurity workforce shortage facing the country. 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 CyberWarrior bootcamp training program that includes 800 curriculum hours aims to:
- Increase diversity in the cybersecurity profession by training women, persons of color and veterans
- Develop and implement a comprehensive cybersecurity pathways retention strategy
- Deliver entry-level cybersecurity training through innovative training hubs
- Teach real-world scenario-based learning
- Arm students with four globally recognized certifications
- Provide hands-on and professional development experience through apprenticeships
- Decrease the cybersecurity workforce shortage by placing talented individuals into entry-level cybersecurity jobs
Not only will the program help narrow the cybersecurity skills gap – there are an estimated 500,000 available jobs nationally – but it will also diversify the industry while pulling in talent from segments of the country not usually thought of – the unemployed and underemployed, and underserved communities, among others.
“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. 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 Foundation Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Edwards says the initiative is not only about workforce development and filling the skills gap, but also about different pathways to train that workforce, while expanding career opportunities for those historically left on the economic sidelines.
“You can’t expect to have the best and brightest if you’re only recruiting from 50% of the population. You have to recruit from 100% of the population and if you don’t, you’re not going to get the best and brightest.”
About CyberWarrior Foundation
The CyberWarrior Foundation was founded as a vehicle to drive social impact and economic empowerment. Working with stakeholders, we increase opportunity and economic mobility for people of all backgrounds via training, mentorship, and technology. Our Cybersecurity Bootcamp is a live, online, skills-based and lab-intensive classroom experience, with over 800 hours of instruction. To learn more, visit us at https://cyberwarrior.org or call Jonathan Edwards at 617.359.1017.