Press Release

September 22, 2011
Funding will prepare students for careers in cyber security

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and  Barbara A. Mikulski   (both D-Md.) today announced the Hagerstown Community College (HCC) has been awarded $650,000 in grant funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to prepare students for careers in cyber security. HCC will use the grant funds to develop new degree and certificate programs, provide professional development for instructors, and reach out to local high schools to recruit students to pursue cyber security career fields.

 “The cyber security industry is rapidly expanding in Maryland, creating a demand for hundreds of thousands of new jobs for those with the technological expertise that is needed,” said Senator Cardin.  “As the cyber security sector continues to expand, Hagerstown Community College is well positioned to offer the training and experience that students will need to become this field’s leaders of tomorrow.”

“I’m so proud of Hagerstown Community College. This is about preparing people in Maryland for jobs that are available today and developing a cyber workforce that will lead to a safer country and a stronger economy,” said Senator Mikulski, Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science, which funds the NSF. “Maryland is the global epicenter of cyber security and cyber workforce development. Graduates with credentials in cyber security are in demand to fill the jobs of today and the jobs of tomorrow – jobs that will never leave the United States.”

“This award will posture HCC well to be a leader in cyber security education, both in Western Maryland and throughout the state,” said Guy Altieri, HCC president. “We greatly appreciate the efforts of Senators Mikulski and Cardin to make federal dollars available for competitive grants for training and job creation in this important career area. As we prepare to open the new STEM Building, the timing couldn’t be better in terms of ensuring that both the capital and operational resources are in place to train our students for cyber security and other STEM-related high-skill, high-wage careers.”

Using the grant funds, HCC will develop a cyber security career pathway, developing partnerships with school systems and employers to enable students to easily complete certification examinations and degree or certificate programs and obtain jobs in the cyber security field. HCC will offer hands-on training, professional development for teachers, and flexible scheduling for students who want to start new careers as cyber security technicians. HCC’s program will also reach out to area high school students to inform them about the field, and make connections with cyber security employers.

The grant is awarded through the National Science Foundation Directorate for Education and Human Resources’ Division of Undergraduate Education, which aims to promote excellence in undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education for all students. As Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science, Senator Mikulski puts money in the federal checkbook for the National Science Foundation each year.