Dem introduces bill to create federal cybersecurity apprenticeship program

Dem introduces bill to create federal cybersecurity apprenticeship program
© Greg Nash

Rep. Jacky RosenJacklyn (Jacky) Sheryl RosenSchumer walking tightrope with committee assignments 10 things we learned from the midterms Election Countdown: Florida fight ends with Scott, DeSantis wins | Dems see Sunbelt in play for 2020 | Trump to campaign in Mississippi ahead of runoff | GOP wipeout in Orange County | Ortiz Jones concedes in Texas House race MORE (D-Nev.) on Thursday unveiled legislation to create a Department of Labor grant program for apprenticeships in cybersecurity.

The bipartisan bill, known as the “Cyber Ready Workforce Act,” would establish grants to help create, implement and expand registered apprenticeship programs for cybersecurity.

Under the bill, the programs would be required to offer certain cybersecurity certifications and help connect participants with local businesses or other entities for apprenticeships in hopes to boost the number of qualified workers for federal cyber jobs.

“The demand for talent in cybersecurity is sky-high, and we’re putting ourselves at risk if we don’t address this shortage in our workforce,” Rosen said in a statement Thursday. “I’m committed to ensuring that businesses and government have the skilled people and critical tools they need to enhance our nation’s cybersecurity infrastructure, help industry thrive, and strengthen our national security.”

Reps. Seth MoultonSeth Wilbur MoultonWHIP LIST: Pelosi seeks path to 218 Moulton calls out Ocasio-Cortez's tweet defending Pelosi as 'offensive' The Hill's Morning Report — Intraparty skirmishes light up lame-duck session MORE (D-Mass.), Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikGOP lawmakers call for autopsy on 'historic losses' Fractious GOP vows to unify in House minority GOP women face steeper climb in Trump era MORE (R-N.Y.) and Dan Donovan (R-N.Y.) have all signed on as cosponsors to the legislation.

Cyber officials and experts have pointed to lack of qualified workers as a major detriment for cybersecurity. The bill cites the federally funded jobs heat map CyberSeek, which found that there are currently more than 300,000 open jobs in the cybersecurity field.

The proposed grant program is based on Nevada’s own cybersecurity apprenticeship program, the first in the country, according to a release from Rosen’s office.

Other lawmakers have also backed efforts to address the talent gap in cybersecurity: Rep. Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdJuan Williams: Nowhere to go for black Republicans Texas lawmakers introduce legislation aimed at helping border counties identify missing migrants Members mark 'Repeal Day' with National Beer Wholesalers Association MORE (R-Texas) has sought to create a “cyber national guard” to help recruit qualified workers.