April 15-16, 2024

This week, in Detroit and Lansing, Michigan, National Cyber Director Harry Coker, Jr. joined Chairman of the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Gary Peters in his home state to share the Biden-Harris Administration’s work to build the Nation’s cybersecurity workforce and bring good-paying cyber jobs to Michigan.

He also joined Michigan State Chief Information Officer Laura Clark to launch a new initiative to promote free services to better protect our Nation’s K-12 schools from cyber threats.

On Monday, along with U.S. Senator Gary Peters, Director Coker spotlighted how President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda is revitalizing the auto-manufacturing industry and growing the number of good-paying cyber jobs in that sector. At the University of Detroit Mercy’s Center for Cyber Security & Intelligence Studies, they met with a diverse group of students and learned about their paths into cybersecurity. Director Coker spoke with them about the many opportunities available to them, especially because of their training at CCSIS, which has obtained recognition as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense and is considered a leader in part because of their experiential lab and community outreach activities.

Director Coker and Senator Peters joined with leaders from Detroit’s thriving automobile sector – including leaders from the Big Three auto manufacturers – to discuss how manufacturers, especially the automotive sector, can better recruit and train the best cyber talent. They also toured Michigan Central Station, talking with tech startups and witnessing first-hand the thriving spirit of innovation in Michigan.

Nearly 390,000 jobs have been created in Michigan during the Biden-Harris Administration. More than 10,000 jobs in Michigan are available today in cybersecurity, and almost half of those – 4,700 of them – are in the Detroit Metro area, while 2,900 are in the Lansing area. These good-paying cyber jobs are available across the public and private sectors – in critical industries such as manufacturing, health care, and transportation, among others, all of which require an increasing number of cyber professionals.

“In Detroit, we saw not only a hub of innovation but also incredible cyber talent that we so badly need to protect this great nation,” said White House National Cyber Director Harry Coker, Jr. “Building a pipeline of talent to fill vital cyber security positions is imperative to make sure our critical infrastructure and our Nation remain secure, a key element of President Biden’s National Cybersecurity Strategy. This week, I was impressed by the dedicated ecosystem of startups, schools, and industry working together to facilitate that talent, and I was particularly impressed by the thoughtfulness of the students. I am grateful to Chairman Peters, Detroit Mercy, and Michigan Central for welcoming me to Michigan and for the Chairman’s continued leadership and partnership building the Nation’s cybersecurity workforce and bringing good-paying cyber jobs to Michigan.” 

On Tuesday, Director Coker participated in a roundtable to promote free tools to K-12 school districts across the Nation. Hosted by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget, the roundtable convened more than 20 education and cybersecurity leaders from around the State of Michigan to discuss no-cost cybersecurity services made available to schools by the Federal Government through the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC).

The roundtable is the latest action from the Biden-Harris Administration to protect schools from an increasing number of cyber attacks which have disrupted and closed schools, exposed sensitive data of students, their families, teachers, and administrators, and cost millions of taxpayer dollars.

“We understand the unique threat on K-12 school districts. Today, it has been tremendously valuable to hear from those on the front lines about their challenges first-hand and to share the many resources available to schools from the federal government and our partners,” said Director Coker. “It is absolutely necessary that we shift the responsibility of defending cyberspace off the shoulders of schools and school administrators and onto organizations that are best positioned to reduce risk and we are here to help – help schools with resources that can provide protection in the short-term, and help alleviate the larger challenges that put them at risk in the long-term.”

This week’s events build on President Biden’s Investing In America Agenda, which includes historic legislation passed by Congress to transform the country with once-in-a-generation investments. Because affordable internet access is vital to preparing our country’s cyber workforce, the Biden-Harris Administration is committed to connecting everyone in Michigan to affordable, reliable high-speed internet. Over 920,000 Michigan households are saving $30-$75 per month on high-speed internet through the Affordable Connectivity Program. In total, $2.6B in funding has been invested in Michigan to provide affordable, reliable high-speed internet to Michiganders.

The Biden Administration’s investments in Michigan also include:

  • $10.8Bin public infrastructure and clean energy investments in Michigan under the Biden-Harris Administration, including:
    • $6.8B announced for transportation investments in roads, bridges, public transit, ports, and airports, as well as electric school and transit buses, EV charging, and more;
    • $724.4M announced for grants, rebates, and other initiatives to accelerate the deployment of clean energy, clean buildings, and clean manufacturing, not including clean energy tax incentives from the Inflation Reduction Act; and
    • $196.3M announced to make our communities more resilient to climate change and other threats.
  • $9.6 millionthrough the State and Local Cybersecurity Grant to address cybersecurity risks and threats to information systems owned or operated in Michigan.

In alignment with President Biden’s National Cyber Workforce and Education Strategy, released last summer, Director Coker has visited states across the country to highlight local best practices in support of expanding jobs for the American people and securing our Nation’s cyberspace.

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