CISA Seeks Next-Gen Cybersecurity Experts From Underserved Communities

The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has awarded $3 million in contracts to two non-profits to hire and educate new digital security personnel from underserved communities.

The agency signed agreements with Tennessee-based apprenticeship organization South Memphis Renewal Community Development Corporation (SMRCDC) and New York tech skills instructor Per Scholas.

SMRCDC has been operating for over two decades to support communities and individuals seeking improved economic opportunities.

Meanwhile, Per Scholas was launched in 2016 to offer tech career training and connect skilled talents to leading industries.

‘Diverse Cybersecurity Workforce’

According to CISA, the initiative is a step to further boost the cybersecurity infrastructure resilience of the US. It also addresses the increase of adversarial threats to the homeland’s digital landscape.

Once operational, the effort will apply non-traditional training to make a transformative impact on underserved communities while sustaining national security.

Each organization accepted $1.5 million in funding to facilitate associated works for the program.

SMRCDC will utilize funds to prepare and employ potential CISA personnel across the Delta  Regional Authority along the Mississippi River Delta, while Per Scholas will focus on learners in Chicago, Newark, New Jersey, New York City, and St. Louis.

“CISA is looking forward to working with both recipients to help recruit and train tomorrow’s cybersecurity leaders,” CISA Director Jen Easterly stated.

“These organizations are such valuable partners and assets in building a diverse cybersecurity workforce that strengthens our nation’s cyber defense capabilities and enhances safety and security in our communities.”

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