Lawmakers introduce legislation to improve cyber workforce funding

Lawmakers introduce legislation to improve cyber workforce funding
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Lawmakers in the House and Senate introduced legislation on Wednesday to improve the cybersecurity workforce by directing the Department of Labor to award grants that help create and expand cyber apprenticeship programs.

The Cyber Ready Workforce Act has bipartisan support, with Sens. Jacky RosenJacklyn (Jacky) Sheryl RosenHillicon Valley: Trump seeks review of Pentagon cloud-computing contract | FTC weighs updating kids' internet privacy rules | Schumer calls for FaceApp probe | Report says states need more money to secure elections Senators introduce legislation to boost cyber defense training in high school Key endorsements: A who's who in early states MORE (D-Nev.) and Kevin CramerKevin John CramerCastro, Steyer join pledge opposing the Keystone XL pipeline EPA proposes rolling back states' authority over pipeline projects GOP senator held up Trump aide's confirmation to get info on border wall contracts MORE (R-N.D.) introducing the bill in the Senate, and Reps. Susie LeeSuzanne (Susie) Kelley LeeMORE (D-Nev.), Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikRepublican lawmakers ask Trump not to delay Pentagon cloud-computing contract Rising number of GOP lawmakers criticize Trump remarks about minority Dems Overnight Defense: Woman accusing general of sexual assault willing to testify | Joint Chiefs pick warns against early Afghan withdrawal | Tensions rise after Iran tries to block British tanker MORE (R-N.Y.) and Abigail SpanbergerAbigail Davis SpanbergerAssault weapons ban picks up steam in Congress Pelosi backers feel vindicated after tumultuous stretch Overnight Defense: House votes to block Trump arms sales to Saudis, setting up likely veto | US officially kicks Turkey out of F-35 program | Pentagon sending 2,100 more troops to border MORE (D-Va.) sponsoring the legislation in the House.

The bill would establish a program within the Labor Department, allowing the Secretary of Labor to award financial grants to “workforce intermediaries” such as colleges and nonprofit organizations that support cyber apprenticeships.

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This funding could also be used for child care, transportation costs and career counseling involved with participating in the apprenticeship programs.

Rosen’s office said that trade groups such as CompTIA and ISACA have already endorsed the legislation.

“We must take action to address the shortage in our cybersecurity workforce in order to fill the gaps in our cyber-defense,” Rosen said in a statement.

“I’m proud to help usher in the next generation of employees in the field of cybersecurity. I’ll continue to work on finding forward-thinking solutions that provide our businesses, communities, and government with the skilled workforce they need to strengthen our nation’s cybersecurity infrastructure and protect Americans’ data from bad actors,” she added.

Cramer noted that “cyber attacks are an emerging threat to our nation, and we need a well-trained workforce able to combat them,” while Lee said that “our ability to compete in the world economy depends on producing an educated cyber-ready workforce.”

Meanwhile, Spanberger said she is “proud to help introduce this bipartisan legislation, because addressing our country’s workforce demands isn’t a partisan issue—it’s an issue of national security, economic strength, and long-term financial security for working families.”