As society enters a technology-based age, cybersecurity continues to be a pressing issue. Cyberattacks continue to threaten our national security on a daily basis. One of the most highly publicized cybersecurity breaches occurred in the 2016 elections. While we focused on Russia’s growing military power, they attacked us online and subsequently influenced the election outcome. However, while cybersecurity remains a constant threat, the United States has an overall shortage of workers who specialize in this field. According to a CompTIA report, there are 301,873 job openings in cybersecurity-related fields since April 2017. To overcome this vulnerability, the United States lawmakers have introduced a bipartisan bill in the House of Representatives that focuses on building up our cybersecurity networks.
United States lawmakers recently introduced a bipartisan bill to the House of Representatives to combat the shortage in the cybersecurity workforce in all sectors of companies. Congresswoman Jacky Rosen (Dem., NV-03) initially presented the bill under the name of the Cyber Ready Workforce Act (H.R.6791). If passed, this bill would establish a grant program in the Department of Labor and focuses on developing and advancing cybersecurity-based jobs. Furthermore, in the bill’s text, it explicitly states that the Secretary of Labor will be able to award grants to workforce intermediaries to help in the implementation and expansion of cybersecurity apprenticeship programs. The apprenticeship program also is permitted to assist in:
- Career counseling
- Transportation assistance
- Childcare costs
The Cyber Ready Workforce Act is based on a cybersecurity apprenticeship program that the state of Nevada recently implemented on May 15, 2018. This program focuses on high demand industries that struggle with finding qualified employees. These industries include information technology, hospitality, and advanced manufacturing. These apprenticeship programs provide opportunities to train and empower future employees and assist in economic mobility.
The bill has gained a lot of support since being presented. It was co-sponsored by Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (Rep., NY-21), Congressman Seth Moulton (Dem., MA-06), and Congressman Dan Donovan (Rep., NY-11). Furthermore, it has gained the support of workforce and trade organizations such as The Learning Center and CompTIA.
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Resources: https://www.zdnet.com/article/us-lawmakers-introduce-bill-to-fight-cybersecurity-workforce-shortage/, https://www.securityweek.com/new-bill-aims-address-cybersecurity-workforce-shortage, http://gov.nv.gov/uploadedFiles/govnvgov/Content/OWINN/Press%20Release_May_New%20Apprenticeship%20Occupations%20Approved(6).pdf, https://www.reviewjournal.com/videos/first-cybersecurity-apprenticeship-program-coming-to-nevada/
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