Vice President Joe Biden, White House Science Advisor John Holdren and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz have announced a Department of Energy grant of $25 million in funding over 5 years to support cyber security education.
The grant program will encourage the creation of a new cyber security association including one K-12 school district, 2 community colleges, 2 national labs and 13 Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
The announcement by Vice President Biden was part of a roundtable discussion with a classroom full of cyber security leaders and students from Norfolk State University. It is expected that the University will take lead in the cyber security consortium to be funded by the federal government.
The visit happened after President Obama announced a new cybersecurity legislative proposal a few days ago. As cyber crime is increasing, there is an obvious need for professionals who can prevent these and protect the users.
The focus is to fill the increasing demand for skilled cyber security professionals in the United States job market. It is also expected that this effort will bring diversified talent in the science, engineering, technology and mathematics fields.
The announcement and initiative to push cyber security education was also an opportunity to highlight the Administration’s commitment to HBCUs.
The Department of Energy is in charge for guarding national security and personally identifiable information while providing online access to the academic community into the advanced computing power available which is available in the country’s national laboratories.
The department also set up the Stop.Think.Connect.Academic Alliance, which is a nationwide network of non-profit colleges and universities. The Stop.Think.Connect.Academic Alliance is committed to encouraging safer use of internet by the not only the college and university students but also the staff of the educational institutions.
Senator Tim Kaine discussed how effective Biden’s visit was in a statement. He said that collaboration amid the stakeholders is important and expressed that he was glad Virginia-based Norfolk State University will have a leading position.
“Improving our nation’s cybersecurity will require collaboration among all stakeholders, and I’m pleased Norfolk State will play an important role in developing a skilled workforce prepared to handle our nation’s cyber challenges. By meeting with students, school officials and local business leaders, Vice President Biden and Secretary Moniz had the opportunity to see first-hand the immense talent at Norfolk State and discuss how the region’s public and private sectors can partner to improve U.S. cybersecurity and equip students with the skills necessary for in-demand 21st-century jobs.”
Participating consortium members include Clark Atlanta University and Paine College from Georgia, Bowie State University from Maryland, North Carolina A&T State University, University of the Virgin Islands, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory from California, New Mexico’s Sandia National Laboratories and Allen University, Benedict College, Claflin University, Denmark Technical College, Morris College, South Carolina State University, Voorhees College and Charleston County School District from South Carolina while Norfolk State University from Virginia.