Today in Pittsburgh, the Biden-Harris Administration continued its National Cyber Workforce Education Roadshow holding events focused on the importance of public-private partnerships in order to bring more good-paying, middle-class jobs in cybersecurity to the people of Pennsylvania.
Today’s cyber workforce events build on First Lady Jill Biden’s visit last month when she announced commitments from employers, unions and training providers in support of Pittsburgh’s success as a Workforce Hub. These investments show how the President’s vision for growing the economy from the middle out and bottom up is creating high-quality career opportunities for students and workers.
The Pittsburgh Technology Council, Partner4Work and Pitt Cyber co-hosted today’s engagements with regional educators, business leaders, community-based organizations and chief information security officers. Participants discussed how President Biden’s National Cyber Workforce and Education Strategy (NCWES) can be collectively implemented and shared information about expanding the cyber workforce pipeline—from local workforce trends to success stories and challenges.
Local apprentices from Apprenti PGH – the first technology-focused apprenticeship program in Western Pennsylvania aimed at providing an alternative pathway for underrepresented populations including women, people of color, veterans, people with disabilities and displaced workers to participate in high-paying, family-sustaining careers in tech – shared their experiences with the program.
Acting Principal Deputy National Cyber Director Jake Braun in the Office of the National Cyber Director (ONCD) highlighted the Pittsburgh Workforce Hub as a national model to enhance the cyber workforce. In May 2023, President Biden announced Pittsburgh’s designation as one of five focus regional Workforce Hubs to boost local workforce development efforts. Led by Mayor Ed Gainey and Partner4Work, the Pittsburgh Workforce Hub is focused on creating equitable career pathways in four key sectors—infrastructure, advanced manufacturing (including robotics and biomanufacturing), high-speed internet and clean energy. Cyber careers provide essential support to all of these sectors.
Acting Principal Deputy Braun also pointed out the importance of the commitment made by Pearson VUE to assist in expanding access to good paying, middle-class jobs. Pearson VUE is committed to helping address the need for qualified cyber professionals in the workforce through its global network of 5,500 test and training centers. Today, Pearson VUE announced it will offer its IT Specialist in Cybersecurity training resources and certification exams at no charge to all learners in its network of learning and assessment centers across Pennsylvania and Ohio. Initially focusing on Pennsylvania and Ohio, Pearson’s commitment will also support US Military installations worldwide, enabling participating centers to train and prepare more qualified individuals to cyber careers.
This announcement adds to the Pittsburgh-area commitments made during First Lady Jill Biden’s visit in November. Those commitments included the following:
- Parkway West Career and Technical Center committed to train 80 students per year in a cybersecurity registered apprenticeship program, connecting them to cybersecurity jobs in the region.
- Eaton—an intelligent power management company—committed to offer paid co-op and internship opportunities with hands-on training in cybersecurity and a $100,000 investment over the next three years in Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) CyLab Security and Privacy Institute to support multi-disciplinary cybersecurity research and education.
- The Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) announced they will train at least 50 students in advanced manufacturing, building automation systems and cybersecurity programs in the next year at its recently opened Center for Education, Innovation, and Training, which was completed using funding from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan.
- The University of Pittsburgh Institute for Cyber Law, Policy and Security promised to help build a strong pipeline of cybersecurity professionals by training over 500 high school students in cybersecurity basics, ethics and career opportunities by 2028.
Acting Principal Deputy Director Braun also encouraged organizations to participate in the Department of Labor’s Registered Apprenticeships programs that are being funded by the $3.75 million in Department of Labor Building Pathways to Infrastructure Jobs Grant. Registered Apprenticeships support our workforce by ensuring every American—whether they go to college or not—will have equitable access to high-quality training, education, and services that provide a path to a good career without leaving their community. Braun reiterated the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to scale and expand Registered Apprenticeships to provide earn-while-you-learn opportunities by investing a historic $285 million in fiscal year (FY) 2023.
There are over 13,000 open cyber jobs across Pennsylvania, more than 3,000 of which are based in the Pittsburgh area alone. Braun encouraged partners to continue leveraging funding and opportunities from the President’s Investing in America agenda—including the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, CHIPS and Science Act, and Inflation Reduction Act—to help increase pathways to cyber jobs. Thanks to these federal government investments, companies and communities alike can increase access to cybersecurity jobs and training. In Pennsylvania, specifically, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law allocates $1 billion for resilience and over $5.2 million for the State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program to address cybersecurity risks to information systems in the state.All participants were encouraged to visit whitehouse.gov/cyberworkforce and make a commitment to strengthen the American cyber workforce. This collaborative tool highlights commitments made by businesses, civil society, and government entities to support the implementation of the NCWES.