A portion of $450 million in grants from the White House will be used to fund 25 job-driven education programs in cybersecurity and information technology through partnerships with private sector companies like Lockheed Martin, Booz Allen and SpaceX, Vice President Joe Biden announced Monday.
During remarks at the White House, Biden acknowledged that the Bureau of Labor and Statistics reported that at the current pace, there will be only 400,000 computer science graduates to fill a projected 1.4 million jobs in IT by 2020. The statistic was pulled from a report the Vice President spearheaded at the President’s request on job-driven training.
According to a fact sheet from the White House, $15 million will go to the Maryland Cyber-Technology Job Pathways Consortium, which taps into the more than 130,000 IT jobs in the state. Maryland, according to the White House, has 49 percent more IT jobs than the national average, boasting thousands of “family-sustaining, entry-level cybersecurity jobs” available for an applicant with a professional certificate or associates degree.
The Maryland consortium consists of fourteen community colleges that will partner with IBM, Lockheed Martin, Rockwell Collins, Booz Allen and a number of other IT companies and hospitals.
In order to increase a student’s success rate, the two-year program offered at the community colleges will be aligned with the National Security Agency’s guidelines for Security & Information Assurance programs. The program will graduate close to 2,000 students in the next three years.
In addition to Maryland, Indiana’s Ivy Tech will receive $2.5 million for a new school focusing on computing and informatics with eight IT programs offered across all 92 of Indiana’s counties.
Kentucky’s Consortia for IT Job Pathways in Computer and Medical Fields received $10 million for six of the state’s community colleges. With the funding, the consortia will develop new degrees in IT for computer and medical fields in partnership with the American Health Information Management Association, a national health IT industry association.
In Texas, $3.2 million in funding will go toward veteran-focused electronics and technology programs at Richland College.
Simultaneous with the announcement of the grants for community colleges, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology released a report addressed to the president recommending the federal government work with industry, continue to support and research IT needs and to lead by example as a major employer of these IT program graduates.
The IT grants will be administered through the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training program, which is jointly-run by the Labor and Education departments.
Through the $450 million in grants, Biden said the increased training for jobs needed across the country will open up a window for the middle class to take IT and other industry jobs.
“Americans want to work, all they want is a fair chance,” Biden said. “These grants provide hardworking Americans a fair shot. The American people have never ever let their country down, because it’s never been a good bet to bet against America.”