Hispanic-Serving Institutions in San Antonio help put “Cyber City USA” on the map for educating and employing cyber workers

April 19, 2024

This week, Acting Principal Deputy National Cyber Director (APDNCD) Jake Braun visited Texas A&M University in San Antonio to highlight how President Biden’s Investing In America Agenda and his National Cybersecurity Strategy are   helping build the nation’s cyber workforce. His visit to Texas is the latest stop in the National Cyber Workforce Education Roadshow.

Texas A&M University-San Antonio is one of nine Hispanic-Serving Institutions designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (NCAE-C) by the National Security Agency.  The San Antonio Cyber Workforce and Education Ecosystem, including the nine NCAE-C schools, has built a robust pipeline of future cyber professionals by introducing cyber awareness programs to K-12 schools and helped Texas colleges and universities offer degree and certificate programs that produce ready-to-hire graduates. APDNCD Braun applauded the dedication of those in public service and encouraged participants to explore cyber careers to ensure our cyber workforce reflects the population it serves. 

APDNCD Braun thanked Texas A&M University-San Antonio for providing valuable input on the National Cyber Workforce and Education Strategy, which the Biden-Harris Administration released in July. 

One of the highlights of the trip was APDNCD Braun’s participation in a regional cyber stakeholder roundtable in which business, non-profit, and academic leaders shared their innovative solutions around cyber workforce growth and sustainability in the San Antonio region and beyond. The dialogue underscored the ongoing collaboration across the region and presented opportunities for new partnerships. APDNCD Braun also held a listening session with students, some of whom are first-generation college students, to learn about their experiences in cyber education.

APDNCD’s visit culminated in a Tech Fiesta community event in recognition of the citywide Fiesta celebration. During the session, representatives from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the National Security Agency (NSA) spoke about their experiences working in Federal cyber roles to an audience of employers, students, and others interested in cyber.

APDNCD Braun praised the people of the San Antonio area for “cultivating a regional cyber ecosystem that sets an example for the nation, and why it has earned the name ‘Cyber USA.’ We’ve learned so much here about what’s working, and we’re going to take that back to DC and amplify your achievements.”

In his remarks, he emphasized how the Federal Government is responding to the challenge of filling over 500,000 good-paying, middle-class cyber jobs currently open around the country, including over 36,000 vacancies in Texas, with 4,500 openings in the San Antonio area. He encouraged the audience to work within their communities to leverage Investing In America resources to identify infrastructure projects in need of cybersecurity. APDNCD Braun called on the audience to proactively incorporate those considerations on the front end to mitigate the potential for disruptions to the systems on which Americans rely every day. A recurring theme of the trip was the importance of including Latinos and other underrepresented groups in the cyber workforce opportunities that these investments will create.

Because internet access is vital to preparing our country’s cyber workforce, the Biden-Harris Administration has delivered $5.8 billion in funding to the Lone Star State to provide everyone with affordable and reliable high-speed internet. Over 1.7 million households in Texas are saving $30-$75 per month on high-speed internet through the Affordable Connectivity Program. President Biden’s Investing In America Agenda has delivered significant funding to San Antonio, including:

  • $13 billion to Texas under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). Of this amount, $173 million came to the San Antonio area.
  • The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) brought another $200 million to the State of Texas, $9 million of which came to San Antonio.
  • Combined, Investing in America has brought over $13 billion to the state and $182 million to San Antonio.
  • Some of the key investments in San Antonio include:
    • $75 Million for Westside Creeks Restoration
    • $46 Million for airport improvements
    • $30 Million for Clean Energy and Power

During the first three years of the Biden-Harris Administration, private companies have announced $124 billion in commitments to invest in Texas’s rapidly growing 21st-century industries.

Today, the Administration announced the following new commitment to build the nation’s cyber workforce:

Vibrant Works

Vibrant Works, a non-profit established in 1933 with a mission to empower people with vision loss, supports military manufacturing and operates base supply centers in Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico.  Recognizing the industry need and talent within the blind and vision-impaired community, Vibrant Works commits to employing or placing at least 25 individuals, including Veterans, who are blind or visually impaired into cybersecurity jobs by 2025.

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