Announces Commitments from Baltimore-Based Organizations to Support America’s Cyber Workforce
January 11, 2024
Today in Baltimore, the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) welcomed the new National Cyber Director, Mr. Harry Coker, Jr., who has led the Office of the National Cyber Director since being confirmed late last year. In his first public event since his swearing in, Director Coker joined students and educators from CCBC, officials from Baltimore County and the State of Maryland, local business and non-profit leaders, and federal partners from the National Security Agency (NSA) to learn about and highlight best practices in Baltimore’s thriving local cyber workforce ecosystem.
Today’s cyber workforce events build on White House Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu and Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su’s visit in November 2023 when the Biden-Harris Administration announced commitments in support of Baltimore’s success as a Workforce Hub.
Director Coker began his day by participating in a listening session to learn from the experiences of a diverse group of CCBC students who are pursuing cyber careers. Notably, CCBC is one of the nation’s first community colleges to earn the NSA’s designation as a National Center of Academic Excellence (CAE). Through its Cybersecurity Institute, CAE-Cyber Defense designation, and commitment to diversity, CCBC plays a critical role within the Maryland cyber workforce ecosystem.
Continuing the day’s focus on increasing access to career opportunities for Marylanders in the cyber workforce, Director Coker attended the Cyber Career Fair, where he visited with federal, state, non-profit, and private sector employers seeking to hire students. The career fair included over 25 employers representing local and national businesses, state government and academia.
Later in the day, Director Coker delivered remarks to educators, local leaders, employers, and students where he discussed both the national security imperative and economic opportunity laid out in President Biden’s National Cyber Workforce and Education Strategy (NCWES). He was joined by the President of CCBC, Dr. Sandra Kurtinitis, Baltimore County Executive John Olszewski, Jr. and Deputy Director of the National Security Agency (NSA)’s Cybersecurity Directorate, David Luber.
Director Coker noted, “Last year, we had more than half a million vacant cyber jobs nationwide – 31,000 of which are in Maryland and more than half of those – 16,000 – are here in the Baltimore region. Our first challenge is making sure we have more people trained for these careers – careers that are positioned to grow in importance well into the future.” He stressed this work so that we can continue expanding access to good-paying, middle-class jobs.
Director Coker, a Baltimore resident, brought years of public and private sector experience in cybersecurity policy and strategy to share with the CCBC community throughout the day. He expressed the need to make cyber careers more accessible for groups that have traditionally not been recruited and he applauded CCBC as “a place that welcomes, fosters, and empowers all students.” Director Coker noted that more than 50% of CCBC’s students identify as people of color and 60% are women which helps accentuate the value of diversity.
After his speech, Director Coker visited an industry roundtable facilitated by Assistant National Cyber Director Seeyew Mo. The roundtable provided an opportunity for business and workforce leaders to share their challenges, opportunities, and innovative best practices to foster a strong cyber workforce in alignment with the NCWES. Many of the roundtable participants are veteran and minority owned businesses who shared best practices to conduct outreach and recruit cyber talent across underserved and underrepresented communities across Maryland.
In May 2023, President Biden announced Baltimore’s designation as one of five focus regional Workforce Hubs to boost local workforce development efforts. The Baltimore Workforce Hub is focused on creating equitable career pathways to support $9.6 billion in projects the administration has announced to upgrade transportation, deliver clean and reliable energy, expand access to high-speed internet, ensure that residents have clean water, and more. 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. Additionally, in October 2023, the Department of Commerce identified Baltimore as one of 31 Designated Tech Hubs, which has resulted in a host of multi-stakeholder actors positioning Baltimore to lead in the commercialization of predictive healthcare technologies. Cyber careers provide essential support to all of these sectors.
Today, Director Coker announced new commitments from Baltimore-area and national organizations that will directly benefit the Baltimore community. Today’s commitments add to those made during the administration’s visit in November.
Today’s new commitments include:
Capitol Technology University
Capitol Technology University (Capitol), housed between Washington, DC and Baltimore, commits to and announces a new initiative to meet the national need for qualified and trained cyber educators by adding to its broad array of cyber education opportunities. Beginning in January 2024, this initiative includes the launch of two new programs: 1) the Doctor of Education (EdD) in Cyber Science and the Master of Education (MEd) in Cyber Science with 12 students expected to be enrolled between 2024-2025, and 2) the creation of a new senior university leadership role focused on implementing an ecosystem approach towards cyber education. This initiative is expected to make Capitol a hub of educating cyber educators that can address the need for such professionals, especially within high schools and community colleges.
College of Information and Cyberspace (CIC) at National Defense University (NDU)
Beginning in Fall 2024, admissions eligibility to the CIC at NDU will expand to include senior non-commissioned officers (NCOs) serving in the US military on Active Duty or in the National Guard. Offerings will feature tuition-free Cyber Workforce programs, including a part-time Master of Science (MS) degree and various Graduate Certificates.
CompTIA, a globally recognized advocate and voice for the tech community with industry-leading certifications and courses, launched the CompTIA Cybersecurity Trustmark program in March 2023. This program consists of 177 industry-accepted security safeguards pulled from six global frameworks. Already, there are over 800 Managed Service Providers (MSPs) from 27 countries in the program, and CompTIA is committed to expanding that to 1,400 by the end of 2024. Additionally, CompTIA Spark, the social impact nonprofit supported by CompTIA, is utilizing free in-school curriculum and other innovative programs to expand the possibilities of tech careers among middle school students. With a goal of serving 1 million students by 2030, CompTIA Spark is helping build a future pipeline of diverse talent by offering programming that spans from tech fundamentals to the latest in cybersecurity and other cutting-edge, emerging technologies.
Dragos, an industrial cybersecurity company, commits to furthering its investment in America’s cyber workforce within the utilities sector through the expansion of its newly launched Community Defense Program. They commit to reaching over 5,000 new under-resourced US-based utility providers in 2024-2025, equating to approximately $250M in total benefits offered. The program provides free access to Dragos Academy’s ICS/OT cybersecurity training, the Dragos Platform, and other assets that will arm the utility provider’s cyber workforce with the tools needed for success.
Edwards Performance Solutions (Edwards)
Edwards, a Maryland-based woman owned small business, remains integrally involved in Maryland organizations that champion cyber education/jobs and legislation, including the Cybersecurity Association of Maryland, Inc. and the Community College of Baltimore County Cybersecurity Advisory Board. As the only organization fully certified to support the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) – a unified standard for implementing cybersecurity across the defense industrial base – Edwards commits to nearly doubling the professionals trained in 2024, enabling more than 1,000 professionals to become CMMC-certified. Additionally, Edwards commits to hire more than 10 junior cybersecurity consultants, using Edwards senior cyber-SMEs for coaching and mentoring, while leveraging the Maryland EARN Program to enhance their skills through free, ongoing education.
Evolved Cyber, LLC
Evolved Cyber, a provider of cybersecurity services for businesses, is launching the MSP Cybersecurity Exchange (MSPCyberX), a collaborative community uniting managed service providers (MSPs) and cybersecurity compliance experts. Functioning as a continuously updated repository, MSPCyberX will organize compliance information by industry to offer an educational hub for its member MSPs. Recognizing that MSPs support an estimated 75 – 80% of US small to medium-sized businesses, MSPCyberX will focus on educating and supporting MSPs in compliance, fortifying a critical piece of the nation’s cybersecurity. MSPCyberX commits to launch in February 2024 with a goal of over 100 MSPs on board by the end of 2024.
General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT)
GDIT is committed to training the cyber workforce of the future to support the missions of the U.S. defense, intelligence, and civilian government agencies. Specifically, in 2024, GDIT will both facilitate cybersecurity education for 20,000 employees and upskill over 1,000 employees with cyber certifications and learning courses. Further, GDIT will continue to invest in building local innovation ecosystems in St. Louis, New Orleans, and other cities by engaging non-profits, academia, small businesses, and emerging technology companies to fuel the expansion and diversification of the cyber workforce.
Gula Tech Foundation
The Gula Tech Foundation, sponsored by cyber industrialists Ron and Cyndi Gula, has demonstrated a multi-year commitment to the recruitment and training of America’s cyber workforce. By referring to the industry as the “Data Care” industry and providing critical support, expertise, and networks, the Gula Tech Foundation has enabled dozens of nonprofit organizations to employ appropriate cyber knowledge and skills, particularly those that seek to diversify the cyber workforce, with over $6M in grants. In 2024, the Gula Tech Foundation is committing an additional investment of $2M for cyber workforce developments focused on expanding access to apprenticeships.
Katzcy PlayCyber, a woman-owned small business based in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia region, is committed to fostering a more diverse, skilled, and resilient national cyber workforce by creating a Cyber ESport league that reaches thousands of professionals in 2024. Katzcy PlayCyber’s Wicked6 Global Women’s Hack and Chat will be held virtually on March 29, 2024 and will include a unique 24-hour hack and chat featuring six cyber games for an expected 2,000 women to hone their cyber skills. Throughout 2024, Katzcy PlayCyber will extend the US Cyber Games program with the commissioning of an all-women’s US Cyber Team (ages 26 and up) to call more women and girls to cyber through gaming. The team will compete within the first global women’s cyber league launch in April of 2024. Through these commitments, Katzcy PlayCyber expects to reach over 10,000 individuals in 2024.
National Cyber Group (NCG)
NCG builds and delivers effective cyber security vocational training curricula by training in a hands-on environment through a hybrid of classroom and apprenticeships in a live, working Security Operations Center. NCG is committed to training 10,000 new entrants to the cyber security field by 2025. NCG engages and recruits students reflective of our nation and is committed to supporting a diverse and highly skilled cyber workforce. NCG supports veterans directly by offering cyber training scholarships so they may continue to serve in national security as they transition to the civilian cyber workforce.
National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA)
NCA is committed to building the resilience of the small- and medium-sized business (SMB) community in the face of increasing cyber risk. The NCA is launching its first cohort of the Cybersecure My Business education program, a program that focuses on training the owners and leaders of SMBs on how to manage cyber risk as a function of their business. This program is launching in late February 2024 as a live, instructor-led, and virtual course paired with practical actions participants will complete between weekly training sessions. As a part of this commitment, the NCA commits to reaching over 100 businesses throughout 2024 and will gather metrics on the specific actions taken by the SMBs completing the course.
Okta, an identity and access management company, is committed to building a robust, diverse, and highly-trained cybersecurity workforce for the future. In support of this commitment, Okta is investing in a $1.6 million philanthropic fund for organizations that are creating inclusive pathways to technology careers for underrepresented communities. Second, Okta is providing 5,000 educational grants to professionals not currently employed looking to make a career transition to cybersecurity by growing their skills. These grants will focus on military spouses, veterans, and tech workers.
Peraton, a technology company that provides space, intelligence, cyber, and defense capabilities for government entities, is committed to doubling its apprenticeships and hiring more than 200 interns in 2024. This program will entail placing students on tasks with an emphasis on developing the next generation’s cyber workforce. Internships will focus on cybersecurity skills, engineering, software development, database management, and security threat analysis, with an aim to providing a path to careers in a dynamic technological environment. In addition, Peraton will expand its community college partnerships on cybersecurity and establish a program in 2024 to assist young and mid-career professionals to transition to cyber careers.
San Diego Cyber Center of Excellence (CCOE)
San Diego CCOE assists employers seeking to audit and address their organizations’ cybersecurity postures. With funding from California’s CADENCE grant, CCOE is partnering with the City of San Diego Regional Cyber Lab, Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, and Amazon Web Services to create “My e-CISO”, a generative AI application that grades an organization’s current cyber posture and provides recommendations for actionable steps for improvement. CCOE and the San Diego Regional Cyber Lab commit by the end of 2024 to assist more than 200 under-resourced organizations in the Southern California region to better understand their cybersecurity posture and needs with the “My e-CISO” tool.
TeamWorx Security, a defense, cyber, and critical infrastructure professional services and technology support company is committed to growing the cyber community through training and upskilling 1,000 non-technical personnel by 2026 across the U.S. military, government, and critical infrastructure labor force. Additionally, TeamWorx Security is continuing to support internship positions across high school, college, and DoD Skillbridge candidates. Through training and technology, we are purposefully reducing the complexity of cyber to make it more accessible to a diverse workforce. TeamWorx Security’s cloud-based cyber workforce collaboration platform, Hive-IQ, will be used to onboard an additional 5,000+ cyber professionals by 2026 across the military, government, and critical infrastructure.
Technology Advancement Center (TAC)
The Technology Advancement Center (TAC) is committed to providing key operational technology (OT) infrastructure cybersecurity training through non-profit programs and conferences. Events, such as Hack the Port, Hack the Hospital, and Hack the Railroad to name a few are designed to provide real-world learning to college students, military professionals, and other USG cyber professionals using actual products and services in the field. TAC’s platform has already trained thousands of students in real life scenarios and is expanding over the next two years to host an anticipated eight conferences and impact over 10,000 students and professionals.
National Institutes for Science and Technology (NIST)
The NIST NICE program, charged with energizing and promoting a robust ecosystem of cybersecurity education, training, and workforce development launched the Cybersecurity Career Ambassador Program to create a network of “ambassadors” to prepare, grow, and sustain the cybersecurity workforce. The Ambassador Program supports the NICE Strategic Plan by helping build cybersecurity career awareness and expanding a national workforce that is both knowledgeable and skilled in cybersecurity. Over the next year, the Ambassador Program aims to identify over 200 ambassadors across the United States.
U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)
In service of its mission to support and continually improve national transportation infrastructure within the modern, digital environment, DOT is committed to attracting, developing, and retaining cybersecurity and information technology talent. This is to include leveraging the diverse backgrounds and accrued experience of veterans and their families. The DOT Pathways Internship Program provides both on-site and virtual opportunities for training and mentorship that prepare participants for lifetime careers in the IT industry. In FY24, DOT commits to increase its paid internship slots from 3 to 12 and continue to convert a set of interns into full time employees.