“Policy is precedent as a path to Black prosperity in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and beyond. To this end, OHUB remains committed to productizing and programming policy on behalf of Black people and all of our allies everywhere,” stated Rodney Sampson, Executive Chairman and CEO of Opportunity Hub.
“It was a pleasure to work with Congressman Hank Johnson on the codification of the Cybersecurity Opportunity Act; and we’re equally excited about our collaboration with the Second Muse Foundation, GET Cities, The Links, Incorporated, and our team of experts, facilitators, training institutions, and employees. Together, we can expose, educate, and position thousands, even millions in the Black community for the opportunities in cybersecurity and beyond.”
In July of this year, U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff (GA) and U.S. Representative Hank Johnson (GA) successfully introduced bipartisan legislation to boost cybersecurity job training programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The legislation also established the “Dr. David Satcher Cybersecurity Education Grant Program,” named after the former U.S. Surgeon General, to expand cybersecurity training programs at HBCUs, tribal institutions, minority-serving institutions, and other colleges and universities that serve a high proportion of Pell Grant recipients in Georgia and nationwide.
“As threats to our national security escalate that affects our power grid, water systems, and critical transportation infrastructure, the need to expand our cybersecurity capabilities must also keep pace,” said Congressman Hank Johnson, chair of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet, and lead sponsor of the Cybersecurity Opportunity Act in the House. “It’s critically important that as we grow our cybersecurity sector, we diversify our pool of talent and expertise in this industry – and where better to draw upon existing capacity than our Historically Black Colleges and Universities and organizations like Opportunity Hub?”
According to Cybersecurity Ventures, the global cost of cybercrime is expected to reach six trillion dollars by the end of this year and $10.5 trillion dollars by 2025. Even as companies boost their digital security teams to stay safe online, there are still disproportionately fewer women and people of color in cybersecurity roles. The new initiative by OHUB will provide women of color greater access to cybersecurity training, which will empower them to be job-ready and become strong contributors to the field. To support the development of the skills of the next generation workforce, IBM is offering the Fortinet Training Institute’s Network Security Expert program free of charge to learners who sign up for the Skillsbuild platform. With this extra support, women participating in this initiative will be able to enter the field of cybersecurity confidently, meet industry demands, and continuously build skills to advance their careers.
“Our research points to the need for early exposure to cybersecurity career options for women and girls as a way of countering the barriers that disproportionately eliminate diverse talent from entering the industry,” stated GET Cities (DC) Managing Director, Ayanna Smith. “Helping women understand the factors that impact their ability to pass background checks and attain security clearances can have a huge impact on the number of women of color who become qualified to fill the thousands of cybersecurity jobs that remain vacant each year.”
Under this new partnership, GET Cities will make a strategic investment to leverage the national profile and top-rated training programs of Opportunity Hub to expose up to 350 women of color to definitive employer-recognized cybersecurity certificate programs. The goals of this new partnership include:
Participant benefits include:
“With this initiative, Black women will finally have the opportunity to enter this rapidly expanding field and change their careers and investment prospects to both contribute as well as unlock the great potential for innovation, leadership, creativity, and investment in cybersecurity,” said Kieran Blanks, Chief Growth Officer of Opportunity Hub. “More importantly, this program is so extremely important because it has far reaching effects across all areas of the lives of Black women. The program participants will begin a journey of transformation to ready themselves and others in their families and communities for the economic opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
For more information on the Black Women in Cyber Initiative by OHUB, visit https://opportunityhub.co/cyber.