On behalf of the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), NIST awarded funding opportunities to build multistakeholder workforce partnerships of employers, schools and institutions of higher education, and other community organizations. These programs established Regional Alliances and Multistakeholder Partnerships to Stimulate (RAMPS) Cybersecurity Education and Workforce Development. Effective multistakeholder workforce partnerships focused on organizing multiple employers with skill shortages in specific occupations to focus on developing the skilled workforce to meet industry needs within the local or regional economy.
NIST Interagency Report (NISTIR) 8287: A Roadmap for Successful Regional Alliances and Multistakeholder Partnerships to Build the Cybersecurity Workforce was published to provide a summary of the five programs and outlines a roadmap for building similar programs based on the best practices found and lessons learned.
The RAMPS 2016 Pilot Programs:
Southwest Region: Arizona Statewide Cyber Workforce ConsortiumThe Arizona Statewide Cyber Workforce Consortium, comprising Chicanos Por La Causa and Cyber Security Canyon, will develop a unified approach to creating cybersecurity resources from a number of existing efforts developed in the past five years. The partnership seeks to connect applicants from traditional and nontraditional training backgrounds to provide skilled workers for the growing number of cybersecurity positions in the region’s critical infrastructure segments including manufacturing, healthcare and the defense industrial base.
Western Region: Cyber Prep Program
The RAMPS grant will fund the next phase of the Pikes Peak Community College Cyber Prep Program to establish a formal, sustainable partnership between secondary school districts, employers and the college. Plans include building cybersecurity workforce development pathways to address local workforce needs. It will develop cybersecurity programs in area high schools and in the college’s Area Vocational Program, creating a summer cyber work experience for high school students, and exploring registered apprenticeships to ensure a sustainable cyber workforce for the future. Learn more at: ppcc.edu/cyberprep
Central Region: Cincinnati-Dayton Cyber Corridor (Cin-Day Cyber)
Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education (SOCHE) is organizing the new Cincinnati-Dayton Cyber Corridor RAMPS project. SOCHE members include the Air Force Institute of Technology, Dayton Development Coalition, University of Cincinnati, University of Dayton and Wright State University. They will work with Cincinnati’s extensive commercial sector and Dayton’s large Department of Defense industry to provide a rich environment for higher education to address the complex workforce demands of cybersecurity. Learn more at: soche.org
Mid-Atlantic Region: Hampton Roads Cybersecurity Education, Workforce, and Economic Development Alliance (HRCyber)
The Old Dominion University’s Center for Cybersecurity Education and Research will coordinate the Hampton Roads Cybersecurity Education, Workforce and Economic Development Alliance. It will include two community colleges, two large public school districts, two universities, a large local private employer, a major federal research lab, and several small businesses. The project also will benefit from the advocacy and support of both the City of Virginia Beach’s Economic Development Office and the Hampton Roads-based workforce initiative, Reinvent HR. Learn more at: securitybehavior.com/hrcyber
Northeast Region: The Partnership to Advance Cybersecurity Education and Training (PACET)
The Partnership to Advance Cybersecurity Education and Training, Led by State University of New York, Albany, aligns with the university’s goals to support science, education and workforce capacity within the community. New York’s Capital Region has a unique workforce potential, with its range of higher education institutions and STEM graduates, and growing advanced technology sectors. The project will seek to build clear educational paths and increase regional workforce capacity for a range of potential careers in cybersecurity, based on industry needs. Learn more at: albany.edu/facets
Funding opportunity description:The specific goals of this FFO are to align the workforce needs of local business and non-profit organizations with the learning objectives of education and training providers conforming to the NICE Framework, increase the pipeline of students pursuing cybersecurity careers, upskill more Americans to move them into middle class jobs in cybersecurity, and support local economic development to stimulate job growth. Education and training providers will discover the skills needed for business as they actively seek to develop academic pathways to increase the pipeline of students who pursue cybersecurity careers. Employers will benefit from an increased supply of skilled cybersecurity workers and an educational system aligned to their needs. State and local economic development organizations, working with area businesses and non-profit organizations, will also benefit by attracting new industries to their area to create more jobs for Americans.