June 10, 2024

Today National Cyber Director Harry Coker, Jr. visited Augusta, Georgia and the Georgia Cyber Innovation & Training Center (“Georgia Cyber Center”) to highlight the Biden-Harris Administration’s work to deliver significant investments in the Augusta area, build America’s cyber workforce and bring good-paying cyber jobs to Georgia. The visit came at the invitation of U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff (D-GA) who joined Director Coker throughout the day.

Director Coker spotlighted how President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda is drawing both public and private investment to the area bringing good-paying jobs especially in construction, and clean energy manufacturing. Director Coker and Senator Ossoff toured the Augusta University Security Operations Center which provides hands-on learning opportunities for job seekers. The Georgia Cyber Center partners with Augusta University and Augusta Technical College to deliver relevant and affordable cyber training, education, and paid work experience to students, with a mission to solve complex cyber challenges and develop Georgia’s cyber workforce. Currently, over 90 students are employed at the center through student assistantships and internships.

Training opportunities at the Georgia Cyber Center extend beyond college students. During the last fiscal year, 151 military veterans and spouses received cybersecurity training at the Center supported by a grant from the Department of Labor. Additionally, the center has placed a strategic emphasis on K-12 computing and cyber education including teaching and mentoring middle and high school teachers, and helping inspire students to pursue careers in cyber. As part of this focus, the Center hosts GenCyber camps for both students and teachers with support from the National Security Agency and National Science Foundation.

After visiting these state-of-the-art facilities, Director Coker, Senator Ossoff, and National Science Foundation Assistant Director Erwin Gianchandani participated in a cyber workforce roundtable which included representatives from the Georgia Cyber Innovation and Training Center, Army Cyber Technology and Innovation Center (ArCTIC), Augusta Technical College, Augusta University, Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) Alliance for Fort Eisenhower, Peraton, Savannah River National Lab, and Scientific Research Corporation. During the roundtable, Director Coker heard from these local partners about their experiences, challenges, and successes working together to train skilled cyber workers in the Augusta area.  

 “I’ve been very impressed by what I’ve seen here at the Georgia Cyber Center. That’s thanks to this incredible collaboration between private sector talent along with military, Government, and academia, all under one roof at the center, that makes Augusta a hub for collaborative cybersecurity innovation,” said Director Coker. “And of course, I am happy to learn that the incredible students at Augusta University and Augusta Technical College have access to hands-on learning opportunities that are critical not only for their own career success but also for our collective national security interest.”

Following his remarks, Director Coker and Senator Ossoff visited Fort Eisenhower.

Over 457,000 jobs have been created in Georgia during the Biden-Harris Administration. While over 40,000 Georgians are employed in the cyber workforce, more than 15,000 jobs in Georgia are available today in cyber. About a thousand of those jobs are in the Augusta Metro 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.

Last year, President Biden announced Augusta’s selection as one of nine Workforce Hubs that have been designated across the country. Since that announcement, Hub collaborators have made significant investments. For example, the National Science Foundation has provided $1 million in a Regional Innovation Engines Development Award to a consortium led by Augusta University to catalyze local academic and industry partnerships around a growing regional cyber workforce. This past month, GF Casting Solutions announced a $187 million investment creating 350 jobs.

Today’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. As affordable internet access is vital to preparing our country’s cyber workforce, the Biden-Harris Administration is committed to connecting everyone in Georgia to affordable and reliable high-speed internet. Over 722,500 Georgia households are able to access affordable high-speed internet through the Affordable Connectivity Program. In total, $2.7 billion in funding has been invested in Georgia to provide affordable and reliable high-speed internet to Georgians.

The Biden Administration’s investments in Georgia also include:

  • $10.8 billion in public infrastructure and clean energy investments, including:
    • $6.9 billion announced for transportation investments in roads, bridges, public transit, ports, and airports, as well as electric school and transit buses, electric vehicle charging, and more;
    • $957.6 million 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
    • $280.6 million announced to make our communities more resilient to climate change and other threats.
  • $4.8 million through the State and Local Cybersecurity Grant to address cybersecurity risks and threats to information systems owned or operated in Georgia.

In alignment with President Biden’s National Cyber Workforce and Education Strategy, which was 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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