College to Develop Cyber-Technology Career Pathways Across Maryland Training
The College of Southern Maryland was awarded a multi-year Department of Labor (DOL) grant through the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) program to improve education and career training programs for unemployed workers in partnership with local employers.
The announcement of round-four of the $2-billion initiative by Vice President Joe Biden on Sept. 29 in a White House press conference included $450 million in grants to community colleges and universities including nearly $15 million for a consortium of Maryland community colleges in which CSM is included. Those attending the press conference to represent Maryland's community colleges included CSM President Dr. Brad Gottfried.
CSM is part of the Maryland Montgomery College consortium in which the focus will be on the cybersecurity economic sector of information technology, professional, scientific and technical services, and educational services. The Cyber-Technology Pathways Across Maryland (CPAM) is a statewide effort consisting of 14 of the state's 16 community colleges. The effort will build a career pathway for cybertechnology by helping participants develop skills that are needed by employers. CSM's portion is $826,160 for local use.
"The grant will permit us to enhance our cybersecurity skills training and provide additional opportunities to Southern Maryland citizens who are currently unemployed or underemployed. CSM is positioned to build the educated and skilled workforce that employers desperately need, while helping families reach the middle class," said Gottfried.
More than 130,000 information technology jobs are in Maryland and that is 49 percent above the national average, according to the DOL. Many are entry-level that a job seeker can qualify for with a professional certificate or an associate degree. Currently, 20,000 cyber jobs are available but employers cannot find prepared Marylanders to fill these high-quality jobs.
"Community colleges are indeed these incubators of innovation and opportunity," said DOL's Secretary Thomas E. Perez during the press conference announcing the grant to the consortium of Maryland community colleges. "People are going to have access to skills that will enable them to get the job tomorrow and punch their ticket to the middle class. In Maryland, we can't find enough folks with this expertise. If you get [a certificate or degree in cybersecurity] today, you'll be employed tomorrow."
Employer partners with Maryland's community colleges include IBM, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Rockwell Collins, Booz Allen, Medstar and a number of hospitals to develop training pathways for low-income workers with minimal prior education or experience in information technology or cybersecurity.
To increase the likelihood of student success, participants will get upfront assessments, career planning and job search support. Students will have the opportunity to accelerate through a two-year degree that is aligned with NSA guidelines for Security & Information Assurance programs. Virtual internships will also be offered to all students to increase their interaction with employers. In the next three years, the program intends to graduate nearly 2,000 students and employer partners have already committed to interviewing qualified graduates.
For information on CSM, visit http://www.csmd.edu.