RICHMOND – Governor McAuliffe today attended the inaugural meeting of the Virginia Community College System’s Cyber Security Advisory Board. This newly formed group will ensure that the Commonwealth’s two-year cyber curriculum imparts the real-world skills that employers need most by leveraging expertise from the federal government, Virginia’s rapidly growing cyber security sector, and industries most affected by cyber threats.
“Giving students the skills they need to succeed in cutting edge industries like cyber security has been at the center of this administration’s approach to workforce development and economic growth,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Cyber security isn’t just a concern in high-tech industries, it’s a day-to-day consideration for any company with a computer. With this initiative, we are strengthening communications between Virginia ‘s educational institutions and the employers who will hire the students they train. By tailoring our instructional approach to the skills employers need today, we can help more Virginians land good jobs after school and attract more employers to the Commonwealth to cement our position as a global leader in the cyber industry.”
This first-in-the-nation initiative will build on the already considerable momentum behind Virginia’s cyber security industry. Since Governor McAuliffe took office, enrollment in Virginia community college’s cyber security programs has seen an almost twelvefold increase and the number of colleges designated as national centers of cybersecurity excellence has increased from one to five.
“By emphasizing hands-on learning and in-demand skills, Virginia’s community colleges are preparing their students for jobs of the future,” said Virginia Secretary of Education Dietra Trent. “This advisory board is a great addition to the Commonwealth’s already robust approach to cyber credentialing.”
“Building a workforce that is industry relevant and industry ready is paramount to our cyber initiatives,” said Virginia Secretary of Technology Karen Jackson. “With 36,000 open cyber jobs, it is imperative that we partner with security professionals to ensure our educational offerings and hands-on training are aligned with business’ needs – current and future.”
“The Cyber Advisory Board will partner with Virginia’s 4-year universities and the K-12 community to streamline the state’s cyber education efforts,” added Virginia Community College System Chancellor Glenn Dubois. “The group will meet regularly to discuss evolving challenges and the changing needs of Virginia’s cyber employers.”
Joe Pine, Senior Associate with Booz Allen Hamilton and Chair of the new Cyber Security Advisory Board said “this approach to cyber education at VCCS will allow prospective cyber security professionals to receive training that’s specifically tailored to the requirements and needs of employers.”