We’ve reported a good amount on the talent pipeline problem in tech, particularly among cybersecurity and IT professionals in Northern Virginia. But the area is also ripe with opportunities to get that training under your belt or build something to better the DMV. Keep on reading to hear about the chance to get a startup off the ground or build cybersecurity skills.
Professional services company Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur Access Network (EAN) has opened applications for its latest cohort to power Black and Latinx founders, and it’s looking for DC entrepreneurs to apply.
The 12-month program, which will begin in 2022, offers mentorship, network connections and a curriculum for entrepreneurs seeking growth and capital. Applications are being accepted through September 17, and companies will be notified of their acceptance on a rolling basis through November.
Kevin Virostek, Greater Washington office managing partner for EY, said that EAN was able to accommodate 120 applicants in 2020, when it launched the cohort in 10 cities nationally. It’s hoping to add even more this year.
“We’re looking for really committed folks,” Virostek told Technical.ly. “People that are challenged and are challenging themselves to grow and overcome some of the hurdles that are in front of them, and have a passion for tapping into the resources around them.”
Any type of business is encouraged to apply; Virostek noted that 2021 applicants included an applesauce startup, a transportation firm and professional services company. To qualify, founding CEOs need to still be a part of the business and have a majority stake, businesses must be at least two years old and companies must be at least 51% Black or Latinx-owned.
“There’s a huge presence of entrepreneurs in the DC marketplace and particularly in the Black and Latinx communities,” Virostek said. “They’re a vital part of the community that we all live in and work in…so we want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to make the DC community as strong as it can be.”
This year’s current EAN participants from DC include:
- Paola Moya, Moya Design Partners
- Towan Isom, Isom Global
- Dr. Barbara Hutchinson, Chesapeake Cardiac Care
- Thomas Sanchez, Social Driver
The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), a DC-based cybersecurity nonprofit, and publicly-traded cybersecurity company Palo Alto Networks just launched a brand new resource library for individuals looking to get ahead in cybersecurity.
The Cybersecurity Education and Career Resource Library is available to those looking for a career boost, educators and representatives from public and private companies. It includes K-12 and higher education curriculum and program guides, job training info for new and experienced professionals and modules to help fuel diversity in the industry. It also hosts curated content from top cybersecurity companies, training tools, mentorship programs and blog posts on success stories.
“The cybersecurity industry is one of the most exciting and rapidly expanding industries today. However, the continuous growth has resulted in a critical shortage of professionals and a lack of diversity in the talent pool,” said Lisa Plaggemier, interim executive director of NCSA in a statement. “Here at the National Cyber Security Alliance, we believe that addressing these challenges requires a coordinated, industry-wide effort to educate and make cybersecurity careers accessible for everyone, which is why we are so proud to not only launch the Cybersecurity Education and Career Resource Library, but to do so alongside a great industry partner.”
The US Department of Commerce just launched a STEM Talent Challenge, courtesy of the Economic Development Administration. The program is intended to support innovation and future job training in science, technology, engineering and math.
The challenge will award up to to $2 million via grants to companies and organizations helping build the STEM workforce, particularly in the space commerce, aeronautics, digital manufacturing, biotechnology, advanced manufacturing and cybersecurity sectors. Qualified groups can apply for up to $250,000 to implement a two-year workforce program in their region. Applications are due October 12.
“The STEM Talent Challenge will help build a robust talent pool that will fuel business and innovation and lead to good-paying American jobs,” Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said in a statement. “Strengthening our workforce and industries of the future are a top priority for me, and this funding opportunity will strengthen the United States’ ability to compete in the global economy.”
Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) and AT&T have a new IT apprenticeship program for students, with the help of the state Department of Labor and Industry.
The program, which offers students 2,000 hours of on-the-job training, plans to develop the talent pool in information technology and national security. Apprentices will train at NOVA’s Reston complex while working part-time as AT&T employees with in-person and virtual training at AT&T’s facility in Oakton. The program will span over two years, allowing time for the government to complete security clearances for students by the time they graduate. Upon graduation, apprentices are required to complete certifications in A+, Network+, CCNA and ITIL, and expected to transition to full-time employment with AT&T.
Steven Partridge, vice president of strategy, research and workforce innovation at NOVA, said that IT jobs are expected to grow 1.5% year over year for the next decade, which is three times the national average for all jobs.
“We currently have more information technology jobs open in Northern Virginia than people qualified to fill these critical role,” Partridge said in a statement. “Building the IT talent pipeline for the Northern Virginia region is crucial and NOVA is proud to partner with AT&T to provide an innovative opportunity for our current and former students to launch their IT careers.”
The program, called AT&T Catapult, has already been implemented at Howard County Community College in Maryland, and this new launch will be an extension. Applications are open August 26-September 23, with acceptance by late October for classes that will begin in January of 2022.