At White House Cyber Workforce Convening, Commitments from the Federal Government and Private Sector Demonstrate Progress Building the Nation’s Cybersecurity Workforce

April 29, 2024

WASHINGTON – Today, the White House Office of the National Cyber Director hosted a first-of-its-kind convening at the White House where representatives from more than 30 companies and institutions representing a dozen industries committed to expand opportunities for Americans and build a strong cyber workforce.

The event focused on creating pathways for more Americans to enter the growing field of cybersecurity through practices like skill-based hiring and earn-and-learn opportunities such as apprenticeships. More than 500,000 cybersecurity positions are currently open across the country.

The National Cyber Director announced that the Biden-Harris Administration is leading by example and will overhaul the federal hiring process to become fully skills-based for an entire series of technical employees. Thanks to work by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the Federal Government will transition the Information Technology Management series, called the 2210 series, to skills-based hiring principles and practices.  The 2210 job series represents IT workers in every federal agency and a majority of the federal IT workforce accounting for nearly 100,000 current federal employees. The framework announced today will take effect next summer.

Additionally, the Federal Government is making a similar commitment to federal contractors who work shoulder-to-shoulder supporting federal employees every day, beginning with an announcement from the Department of Energy on their effort to pivot towards skills-based hiring in IT and cyber contracts.

“Today marks an important moment in the vital work to build the Nation’s cybersecurity workforce, a mission that is imperative to our national security and our economic prosperity in our increasingly digital world,” said National Cyber Director Harry Coker, Jr. “Thanks to a lot of work across federal agencies, we’re leading by example, ensuring that more Americans will have access to cybersecurity jobs in the Federal Government whether they are an employee or a contractor. I’m equally as pleased to see a whole new set of private sector companies from more than a dozen industries publicly highlight their efforts to expand our national cyber workforce. We need cybersecurity talent in every industry. Today we demonstrate the true value that our office – ONCD – can bring facilitating a nation-wide effort to skill-based hiring demonstrating partnership, collaboration and a dedication to building the talent pipeline and open opportunities to good paying jobs in cybersecurity.”

“The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to recruiting the best talent for in-demand federal positions,” said OPM Deputy Director Rob Shriver. “Skills-based hiring is a key priority, particularly with the emergence of new technologies like AI and machine learning. Americans with the right skills should have the chance to join the federal workforce, regardless of how they gained those skills.”

“The President’s Investing in America Agenda is rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, revitalizing American manufacturing, and creating a clean energy renaissance – and cyber security underpins our success in each critical sector. Skills-based hiring and quality job training programs, including earn-and-learn registered apprenticeship programs, will help us build the workforce that the cyber industry needs,” said White House Domestic Policy Advisor Neera Tanden.

Skills-based hiring opens up opportunities to workers who have learned skills in programs like apprenticeships and other training programs rather than relying solely on two or four-year college degree requirements. The Biden-Harris Administration has prioritized expanding registered apprenticeships and has invested $440 million in related programs. In March 2024, President Biden signed an Executive Order to expand registered apprenticeship programs in the Federal Government. Thanks to a registered apprenticeship sprint for cybersecurity workers, more than 7,000 individuals were hired into a paid apprenticeship role across the nation.

Last July, ONCD published President Biden’s National Cyber Workforce and Education Strategy addressing the short- and long-term needs to fill the hundreds of thousands of cyber job vacancies across our nation, a national security imperative as the Biden-Harris Administration is making generational investments to prepare our country to lead in the digital economy. ONCD has been leading the efforts to transition to skills-based hiring for cyber jobs in both public and private sectors.

Today, ONCD was pleased to announce additional commitments from private sector companies all stepping up to build the nation’s cybersecurity workforce. They all utilize skill-based hiring and remove the four-year degree requirement in job postings when appropriate and bolster the talent pipeline through apprenticeships, scholarships and trainings. They include:

ArcBest is investing $1M in the Peak Innovation Center to equip over 40,000 students from 22 regional school districts with real-world skills that enable them to secure jobs within the STEM disciplines. ArcBest also commits to continue exploring a skills-based approach across recruiting and retention efforts, including creating a development program for cyber talent.

Blue Valley Technologies
Blue Valley is committed to using skills-based hiring when recruiting new talent and to providing paid cyber job training for all employees.

Cisco Networking Academy and Wichita State University Tech are piloting an innovative educational curriculum designed to cultivate essentials cybersecurity skills within the manufacturing sector.

Eaton will invest more than $500,000 over the next three years to facilitate ongoing education and training at RIT’s ESL Global Cybersecurity Institute.

Entergy committed to hiring more than 100 interns annually to enhance its workforce pipeline for entry-level talent.

Fusion Cyber
Fusion Cyber commits to train 30 paid security operations center apprentices as part of a goal of training over 1,000 total students for cyber careers in 2024 and 10,000 by 2028.

Glendale Community College
Glendale Community College (GCC) commits to maintaining a live security operations center (SOC) where 19 paid interns will monitor, detect, and inform partnering rural municipalities at no cost, providing with over 300 hours of competency-based experience as a SOC Analyst or SOC Engineer by the end of 2024.

Merck & Co., Inc.
Merck & Co., Inc’s Information Technology organization commits to embracing the company’s Skills-First talent practices by removing four-year degree hiring requirements to even more roles, having already doubled the number of roles posted without the requirement since 2021.

Motorola Solutions
Motorola Solutions commits to extending their strong investment in programs and partnerships that bolster their talent, culture and cybersecurity posture with a diverse range of technical organizations such as the National Society of Black Engineers, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, the Society of Women Engineers and Women in Cybersecurity.

Pearson VUE
Pearson VUE commits to extending the availability of its IT Specialist: Cybersecurity training resources and certification exams available at no charge to its network of learning and assessment centers to all US locations through 2024. This builds on Pearson VUE’s initial commitments to provide these services to learners in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and North Carolina.

Per Scholas
Per Scholas commits to train 5,000 cyber learners over the next 5 years and grow its national Registered Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Program to 40 cyber apprentices in 2024.

Pineland Telephone
Pineland Telephone works closely with middle and high school students to demonstrate the skills needed for a fulfilling cybersecurity career.

SANS has collaborated with numerous partners to launch over 100 reskilling academy cohorts in the United States over the last decade. The Academies will enroll more than 800 students on full scholarships between now and the end of 2025.

Union Pacific Railroad
Union Pacific Railroad commits to enhancing its cyber workforce by providing experiential, hands-on learning through rotational programs, which are offered to all Information Assurance employees, to strengthen their skillsets. The railroad is also building a pipeline of future talent, actively recruiting 200 college students for its year-round and summer internships nationwide.

Verizon, Inc
Verizon’s Skill Forward Program, in collaboration with edX, provides tuition-free technical and professional learning pathways. This initiative is designed to prepare 500,000 U.S. workers for future tech careers in fields such as cybersecurity and AI by 2030, reinforcing Verizon’s commitment to workforce diversity and skilled employee retention.

Federal Government

Department of Energy
As part of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) continued work on advancing the Biden-Harris Administration’s priority to implement the National Cyber Workforce and Education Strategy, DOE is shifting towards skills-based hiring for federal and contractor IT & cybersecurity jobs including working to remove degree requirements in federal IT contracts.

Department of Labor
To support the President’s priority to serve veterans and their families, The Department of Labor (DOL) is leading an initiative to prepare veterans, separating service members, and military spouses for entry or advancement in good-paying and high-demand cyber occupations. DOL-VETS would drive public-private partnerships that support job training, industry certifications, and upskilling, produce enhanced resources for Veterans seeking roles in the cyber workforce and for employers seeking Veteran employees, Furthermore, enhance VETS Employment Navigator and Partnership Program (ENPP), and offer the United Services Military Apprenticeship Program (USMAP), DOL’s largest Registered Apprenticeship program which includes 15 cybersecurity occupations.

Office of Personnel Management
As part of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s continued work on advancing the Biden-Harris Administration’s priority to strengthen our Federal workforce and implementing the National Cyber Workforce and Education Strategy (NCWES) to advance the Administration’s national strategic cyber objectives, OPM is working on transitioning the Federal sector Information Technology Management Occupation series, called 2210, to a skills-based hiring approach to enable Americans with the right skills to join the Federal workforce, regardless of how they gained those skills. OPM is currently reviewing Federal agency skill qualification requirements, including the 2210 IT Specialist Qualification and Classification Standard, and will use this pilot to expand the use of competency-based hiring more broadly across the Federal Government in FY 2025.

National Science Foundation

This summer, the U.S. National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Experiential Learning for Emerging and Novel Technologies (ExLENT) program will invest $20 million in additional teams across three tracks this summer – including the new Explorations track – to expand practical STEM and cyber learning opportunities and grow U.S. jobs,. In addition, NSF announced a new funding opportunity to jumpstart a region’s innovation ecosystem with up to $160M of NSF funding over 10 years.


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