Senators introduce cybersecurity workforce expansion bill

Senators introduce cybersecurity workforce expansion bill

Four members of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee from both sides of the aisle introduced a bill Tuesday to expand America's cybersecurity workforce.

The Harvesting American Cybersecurity Knowledge through Education Act would enhance existing science education and cybersecurity programs in the National Institute of Standards and Technology, National Science Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and Department of Transportation.

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It would do so by incentivizing the recruitment of educators in the field, designing clear paths for professionals and increasing coordination between the agencies listed above.

“Cybersecurity risks are constant in the growing digital world. It is critical that the United States stay ahead of malicious cyber activity with a workforce that can safeguard our innovation, research, and work environments,” committee Chairman Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerTop Republican: General told senators he opposed Afghanistan withdrawal NY Democrat tests positive for COVID-19 in latest House breakthrough case Florida Democrat becomes latest breakthrough COVID-19 case in House MORE (R-Miss.) said in a statement.

“This legislation is an important first step to expand the cybersecurity workforce and provide tools to support necessary education and training,” he added.

“America is facing serious cyber threats every day in today’s increasingly connected world, yet there is a serious shortage of workers needed to confront this urgent challenge,” said Sen. Maria CantwellMaria Elaine CantwellDelta variant's spread hampers Labor Day air travel, industry recovery Wyden asks White House for details on jet fuel shortage amid wildfire season Air travel hits pandemic high MORE (D-Wash.). "There are currently 300,000 vacancies in our cyber workforce nationwide."

Sens. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneManchin keeps Washington guessing on what he wants Manchin-McConnell meet amid new voting rights push Republican leaders misjudged Jan. 6 committee MORE (R-S.D.) and Jacky RosenJacklyn (Jacky) Sheryl RosenFormer Sen. Heller to run for Nevada governor Photos of the Week: Infrastructure vote, India floods and a bear The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - White House, Dems play blame game over evictions MORE (D-Nev.) also introduced the bill.

Similar legislation, the Cyber Ready Workforce Act, was introduced in both chambers earlier this year but remains in committees. That bill would direct the Department of Labor to award grants that help create and expand cyber apprenticeship programs.