Baltimore-based Digit All City is working with Northrop Grumman, the U.S. Department of Defense and the city’s two historically black colleges on a new program to help train cybersecurity workers.
Under a new agreement, the tech training company is developing the Cyber Warrior Diversity Program at both Morgan State and Coppin State universities.
Digit All City is a year-old venture focused on training and testing founded by Joseph Sutton and Lance Lucas. They also founded the nonprofit Digit All Systems, which focuses on helping people earn tech certifications. Lucas said the aim is to provide certifications that are required by the Department of Defense for cybersecurity work. While students may work toward tech careers in college, meeting the DoD’s specifics for certifications is an additional requirement for cybersecurity.
“This is a door that was closed that is now open for these students,” he said.
Working with Northrop Grumman helps further align the certifications with what’s needed in the workforce, which can further steer students into jobs. DoD signed the two entities to a two-year Mentor-Protégé agreement, which it uses to help small businesses and big contractors.
Even as cybersecurity gets hotter and more important, open jobs remain. Companies and government often talk of a “skills gap.” Given that Black people make up just 3 percent of the cybersecurity workforce, opening pathways that expand diversity is seen as especially important.
“Northrop Grumman is pleased to be able to transfer know-how and experience to DAC and Historically Black Colleges and Universities so they can grow and develop a community of cyber warriors that will help protect our nation from cybersecurity threats,” Jaime Bohnke, vice president, global supply chain, Northrop Grumman Corporation, said in a statement.
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