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 RosenSenate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Democrats call for expedited hearing for Trump's public lands nominee Democrats call for McConnell to bring Voting Rights Act to floor in honor of Lewis MORE (D-Nev.) and Kevin CramerKevin John CramerThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: iBIO Chairman and CEO Thomas Isett says developing a safe vaccine is paramount; US surpasses 150,000 coronavirus deaths with roughy one death per minute McConnell tees up showdown on unemployment benefits Senate panel scraps confirmation hearing for controversial Pentagon nominee at last minute MORE (R-N.D.) introducing the bill in the Senate, and Reps. Susie LeeSuzanne (Susie) Kelley LeeMORE (D-Nev.), Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikHouse Republicans introduce legislation to give states 0 million for elections The 'pitcher of warm spit' — Veepstakes and the fate of Mike Pence The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden, Obama reunite for socially distanced conversation MORE (R-N.Y.) and Abigail SpanbergerAbigail Davis SpanbergerDemocrats go big on diversity with new House recruits Republicans choose Frietas to challenge Spangberger for Virginia congressional seat Over 570 women registered to run for office, topping 2018 record 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.”