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DLLR News

 

Pathways to Cyber Consortium Celebrates First Anniversary of Training Maryland Workers for Cyber Economy

 

Over 380 enroll in training program during first year

GLEN BURNIE, MD (June 29, 2011) - The Pathways to Cybersecurity Training Program celebrated its one-year anniversary earlier today and touted progress toward the ambitious goal of preparing 1,000 workers for the cyber economy. The program is funded through a $4.9 million competitive U.S. Department of Labor workforce grant and administered by the Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corporation, one of the Maryland Labor Department's (DLLR) One-Stop Employment Center operators.

Since its inception the program has enrolled 322 dislocated and unemployed Marylanders and 64 incumbent workers looking to enhance their training to compete for jobs in the cybersecurity industry. Earlier this year, the first class of 83 participants was certified through the training program; eight have secured employment in the cyber industry.

"As Maryland welcomes thousands of defense jobs through BRAC and awaits the influx of thousands more in the cybersecurity industry, we are more aware than ever of our unique responsibility to our nation's security. We have the nation's best-educated and most highly-skilled workforce and we will build on that strength to thrive in this new, innovative economy," said Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown, chair of the Governor's Subcabinet on Base Realignment and Closure and the O'Malley-Brown administration's leading champion for economic and workforce development. "The Pathways to Cyber Consortium is leading the way and helping Maryland develop a pipeline of trained workers to maintain Maryland's position as the best state for knowledge-based fields like cybersecurity, life sciences and bio."

"I applaud the Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corporation for their successful leadership during the first year of the Pathways to Cyber training and look forward to watching the graduates they've trained fill the jobs of the future," said Maryland Labor Secretary Alexander M. Sanchez. "Because of our workforce and the O'Malley-Brown administration's investments in our human capital, Maryland is better positioned than most to thrive in the innovative New Economy."

In January 2010, Governor Martin O'Malley launched CyberMaryland, an interagency initiative to make Maryland the epicenter of cybersecurity for the entire nation. In part because of these efforts, the federal government announced its decision to headquarter the national Cyber Command at Ft. Meade. The Cyber Command will create as many as 20,000 highly-skilled and well-paying jobs in Maryland. To jobseekers, the Pathways to Cyber program provides career counseling, occupational training and certification as well as job placement assistance. To local businesses, it provides pre-screened cyber professionals, hiring incentives and tax credits.

The 2005 Base Realignment (BRAC) decisions will bring 20,000 federal jobs to Maryland by September 2011 and up to 40,000 indirect and induced jobs near many of the state's military installations by 2015. This job growth represents the single largest economic expansion in Maryland since the end of World War Two. In 2007, Governor Martin O'Malley and the Maryland General Assembly created the BRAC Subcabinet, which is chaired by Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown, to prepare the state's physical infrastructure and develop its human capital in advance of BRAC's September 2011 deadline. Many of the efforts to expand training and educational opportunities for the BRAC economy, including programs to help students obtain security clearances and curricula at Maryland's community colleges, have established a strong foundation to prepare the workforce for the thousands of cybersecurity jobs that Maryland will create in the coming years.

The Pathways to Cybersecurity initiative complements many of DLLR's workforce development goals. In March 2010, Governor O'Malley launched the Skills2Compete Maryland initiative to increase post-secondary education and skills training by 20 percent. Studies have found that as many as four out of 10 jobs created in the coming years will require more education and training than traditionally received with a high school diploma, but less than a four-year degree. These middle skill jobs include certain careers and positions in the cyber industry.

Earlier this year, Secretary Sanchez joined Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger at a press conference touting the Pathways to Cyber Consortium's innovative training.

The Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation protects and empowers Marylanders by safeguarding workers, protecting consumers, providing a safety net and cultivating a thriving workforce that can meet the demands of Maryland’s dynamic economy. Follow DLLR on Twitter (@MD_DLLR) and Facebook.