September 17, 2018, marked the kick-off date of the training portion of the EWI-developed Cybersecurity Co-op Pilot Program. The first training site is located in Buchanan County, Virginia, and is funded by the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority.
EWI, partnering with leading cybersecurity experts, is working with the Buchanan County Industrial Development Authority to teach non-IT background staff in rural areas the skills necessary to provide cybersecurity services to small and medium-sized businesses. During the training period, students are paid to learn cyber analyst skills using live network data from small manufacturers in the region. Cybersecurity competency, job-readiness levels, and accreditation preparedness for certification will be assessed at the end of the nine-month program.
“Small and medium-size manufacturers making up the backbone of U.S. supply chains. Their ability to adhere to cybersecurity requirements is crucial for their continued interaction with larger companies and companies involved with defense,” commented EWI Principal Engineer and Cybersecurity Mentor, Connie LaMorte. “The Cybersecurity Co-op Pilot Program aims to arm the smaller manufacturers with affordable cybersecurity services needed to protect critical industrial systems, sensitive client data, and manufacturing processes. The launch of Buchanan County’s mentee program kick-off is an exciting step forward in this endeavor.”
Project stakeholders, participating companies, community supporters, and new students attended an opening day reception in September to celebrate the start of the training portion of this project.
More details about the project can be found here.