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Jul. 1, 2014 11:45 am

Cyber Consortium to launch training program

The program, funded by a state grant, aims to "tear down the initial barriers of entering the cybersecurity field."

The Maryland Cyber Security Roundtable launch event, May 29, 2014. (Photo by Flickr user Maryland GovPics, used under a Creative Commons license)

The Central Maryland IT/Cyber Consortium is using a state grant to fund a new workforce development program.

In early June, the consortium was awarded an EARN (Employment Advancement Right Now) Maryland grant, Federal Hill-based ZeroFOX (an industry partner with the consortium) announced in a press release.

The two-year, $366,682 grant, plus industry partner contributions, will allow the consortium to fund a new workforce development program called Cyber Central. The program is planned to launch this fall. It will provide training followed by apprenticeships with an eye toward preparing graduates for full-time jobs in cybersecurity and IT.

“We learned very quickly that the missing piece is industry engagement,” Chris Ensey, the consortium’s convener and COO at Dunbar Cybersecurity, said in a statement earlier this month. “Our program is built around developing foundational security skills combined with hands-on experience in an apprenticeship/mentorship process. We want to tear down the initial barriers of entering the cybersecurity field, jump start careers, and close critical skills gaps found in a variety of professional paths in this industry.”

ZeroFOX will contribute expertise and instructional design, and will take on at least two Cyber Central apprentices, according to the release.

“Workforce development is an interesting and challenging fusion of education, economics, and human resources,” ZeroFOX director of strategy Mike Passaro said in the release. “It involves many players with diverse skill-sets all coming together to improve social equity. Programs must be flexible, dynamic, and adaptive to the needs of the community while providing value to employers. It’s a big challenge that few are willing to take on. I like that challenge and look forward to what the Consortium can accomplish, and the lives that we can change.”

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Tyler Waldman

Tyler Waldman is lead reporter for Technical.ly Baltimore. A Towson University graduate and former local editor for Patch.com, Tyler has also written and photographed for publications including the Baltimore Brew, Howard County Times and Towson Times. He lives in Charles Village.

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