News alert: MxD roundtable with White House officials highlights cybersecurity workforce needs

Chicago, Ill., Sept. 21, 2023 — MxD, the Digital Manufacturing and Cybersecurity Institute, today hosted a roundtable discussion with the White House Office of the National Cyber Director. Also in attendance were Access Living, The College of Lake County, CyberSkills2Work, and Task Force Movement. Organizations gathered to discuss courses and programs to address the critical cybersecurity workforce needs in the United States.

Each participating organization is committed to developing cyber skills and programs to train the workforce across a wide range of industries, including manufacturing. As a part of this effort, each organization made the following commitments:

MxD, in collaboration with the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, created the Cybersecurity for Manufacturing Operational Technology (CyMOT) program to increase the security of U.S. manufacturers from cyber-attacks by providing role-based training to the next generation of cybersecurity workers in manufacturing.  The 60-hour live-instruction course series targets roles in Artificial Intelligence engineering and cybersecurity and has been utilized by MxD partners, including Boeing, Dow, and Rolls-Royce to provide more than 175 current and future workers with skills unique to securing the manufacturing floor.

The CyMOT course series is tailored to meet the needs of each learner, including current manufacturing workers looking to upskill and future workers still learning the basics.  MxD commits to use the CyMOT curriculum and other courses to train, certify, and provide employment opportunities to underserved students at community colleges and historically Black colleges and universities across the United States.

Access Living is committed to launching an Independent Living Technology Program to address the gap in digital skills in the disability community to reach 150 disabled participants by the end of 2024. Participants identify an independent living goal to achieve using technology, like looking for work, job training, or accessing information and services. They then attend Access Living’s disability centered technology training course and receive one-on-one support.

Upon completion, participants who need it are given their own laptop or tablet and a year of free internet access. Funding for this program is in part from a Federal grant. Access Living is also committed to expanding its consulting and training services to include a team of certified digital accessibility specialists, all of whom have disabilities themselves. The team aims to improve the Internet and digital product accessibility not just for Access Living’s clients but overall by centering lived experience with disability in its consultation, evaluation, and remediation of websites, portals, apps, and other digital content and interfaces to ensure they meet or exceed accessibility standards.

CyberSkills2Work, a nationally scalable program led by the University of West Florida and supported by a coalition of 10 National Centers of Academic Excellence-designated higher ed institutions across the country, commits to adding 1,520 cybersecurity professionals to the nation’s cyber workforce over the next two years.  The program also commits to providing free training for transitioning military, first responders, veterans, military spouses, women, underrepresented minorities, and government personnel. The program will offer 22 additional training pathways that prepare learners for 16 cybersecurity work roles and 17 industry certifications. A $2.5 million NSA expansion grant funds this effort.

The College of Lake County (CLC) in Grayslake, IL, commits to using funds received through a Federal grant to convene a group of 50 manufacturing employers to grow the manufacturing sector and expand education and training, including cyber skill development, in the second largest manufacturing county in the state of Illinois. CLC also commits to expanding its Advanced Technology Center (ATC), dedicated to Industry 4.0 training and education, to incorporate critical, complementary workforce needs such as cybersecurity, data analytics, mechatronics, and robotics.

NIWC, a regional consortium of 11 community colleges connected to local workforce boards, commits to developing an IT training program to prepare individuals for entry to cybersecurity certificate and degree programs from which graduates have the appropriate knowledge to thrive in this sector. The approach intends to remove barriers, accelerate entry into highly specialized cybersecurity careers, and create greater access to a diverse talent pool for the IT industry.

Task Force Movement (TFM) prepares Transitioning Service Members, Veterans, disabled Veterans, and Military families with the tools they need to engage in cybersecurity career pathways via scholarships and public and public-private partnerships. In addition to the 50 scholarships TFM previously announced it will award over the next year, TFM is committing to expand this effort to directly support state and local leaders in implementing their own Task Force Movement programs, starting with two states in the first year.

About MxD: MxD (Manufacturing x Digital) is where innovative manufacturers go to forge their futures. In partnership with the Department of Defense, MxD equips U.S. factories with the digital tools, cybersecurity, and workforce expertise needed to begin building every part better than the last. As a result, our nearly 300 partners increase their productivity, win more business, and strengthen U.S. manufacturing. The partnership with the Department of Defense helps better equip the nation’s warfighter.

Media Contact: Mackie Hill, Marketing and Communications Manager, MxD, 312.281.6872  

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