BALTIMORE (WMAR) — A new federal grant will train veterans and their spouses for free with the cyber security skills needed in this high demand area. The goal is to fill the talent pipeline because the demand far exceeds supply, with the Russian War escalating the security worker shortage. I-T industry stats show the need for cyber security workers has increased 30 percent in the last year.
“There are more than 20,000 unfilled cyber roles in Maryland,” said Kendra Parlock, the Vice President of Partnership Development for NPower. “The White House/DHS are warning us every day about the heightened risk of cyber-attacks.”
Since 2016, NPower in Baltimore has worked to launch careers in these fields, offering free technical training, career development and placement into positions.
“We see almost a 380% increase in salary pre-program vs. post-program,” said Parlock.
They focus on young adults, women of color and veterans and their families.
“With transitioning military, with veterans, there is a great need to identify opportunities where they can use their transferable skills,” said Parlock.
They have graduated more than 600 people, with another group getting ready for their turn.
“As we are wrapping up our spring training right now, our trainees are so excited about placement so internships, apprenticeships. They are meeting with their placement managers and polishing up their resumes and LinkedIn profiles,” said Parlock.
Now, they can widen their impact thanks to a new Department of Homeland Security grant.
The national nonprofit with two locations in Baltimore will get $1 million over three years, allowing them to enroll more people and expand placements.
“We’re serving people from communities that are traditionally unresourced, so we are path not just to a job but a career, a high paying opportunity that drives economic prosperity, economic mobility,” said Parlock.
They offer hybrid programs because of COVID, which has also helped reach more people.
“Transportation has traditionally been a barrier for people we serve so virtual instruction and training really mitigates that,” said Parlock.
This is the first time the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has awarded a cyber security grant that recruits cyber security workers.