Joe Biden cybersecurity

Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, and White House Science Advisor John Holdren are set to appear at Norfolk State University in Virginia.

The group plan to announce that the Department of Energy (DOE) will provide a five-year, $25 million grant in support of cybersecurity education. The grant will go on to support the start of a cybersecurity consortium that includes 13 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), two national labs, and a k-12 school district.

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Vice President Biden will announce the grant plan as part of a roundtable discussion with other cybersecurity leaders and students from Norfolk State. This week, President Barack Obama announced new plans to bolster the country’s cybersecurity policies and shared that this grant was part of the overall plan.

Addressing a growing demand for cybersecurity professionals in the U.S. job market, this grant will insure that there is diversity in hiring and pulling from a pool standout individuals in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields will be possible.

Further, the Obama Administration’s commitment to supporting HBCUs is also the impetus behind the grant and funding program.

The Department of Energy will establish the Cybersecurity Workforce Pipeline Consortium with funding from the Minority Serving Institutions Partnerships Program, which is part of the National Nuclear Security Administration. The Minority Service Institutions Program has a commitment to build a network between minority-serving institutions and labs overseen by the Department of Energy.

DOE scientists will mentor and recruit students for these programs.

The first of the grants for the cybersecurity program will be awarded this year and the Consortium will oversee the pipeline of students aiming for the cybersecurity field. The Consortium will help guide students on degree programs and career paths. Norfolk State will be the lead school in the Consortium, with a two-year technical college and also four-year public and private universities that offer degrees involved. The Charleston County School district will also be included.

The participating schools are as follows:

Norfolk State University (lead) in Virginia; Clark Atlanta University and Paine College in Georgia; Bowie State University in Maryland; North Carolina A&T State University; Allen University, Benedict College, Claflin University, Denmark Technical College, Morris College, South Carolina State University, Voorhees College and the Charleston County School District — all in South Carolina; University of the Virgin Islands; Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California; and Sandia National Laboratory in New Mexico.

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