Veterans can use GI benefits toward cybersecurity certification in Pinckney

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For the first time, U.S. veterans can now use their G.I.Bill benefits to fund cybersecurity education at the Pinckney Cyber Training Institute.

It is anticipated that more than 1 million cybersecurity jobs in the U.S. will be unfilled by 2020. By building readiness and interest in cybersecurity careers with our veteran community and providing an education pathway, this opportunity will help fill the talent pipeline gap that Michigan is facing in the coming years.

The Pinckney Cyber Training Institute is now able to provide cybersecurity curriculum to veterans, thanks to a partnership with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Work Skills Corporation. This was made possible through authorization from the Michigan State Approving Agency, which approves all training programs for veterans.

“We are very proud and honored to be able to offer a cybersecurity training program forour veterans that have served our country. They have already defended our country once; now they can defend it against cyber attacks,” said Jim Darga, director of the Pinckney Cyber Training Institute.

“This is a significant milestone for Michigan’s Cyber Ecosystem,” said Major General Stone, Deputy Adjutant General, Michigan National Guard​.

The funding to create the Pinckney Cyber Training Institute originated with a Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment grant with matching funds from Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The program, scheduled to launch in fall 2019, will focus on two primary career pathways: Cybersecurity Analyst and Cybersecurity Vulnerability Assessor. Both pathways are based off the National Institute for Cybersecurity Education Workforce Framework.

Veterans are well suited for careers in cybersecurity, as many gained exposure to security procedures in the military along with experience confronting challenges in a timely and systematic fashion.

“We are honored to be selected to partner with the Pinckney Cyber Training Institute to provide employment and training services to veterans,” said Tina Jackson, President of the Work Skills Corporation. “WSC is dedicated to helping people optimize their potential and looks forward to the opportunity to further expand services available to our veterans.”

WSC will provide support for the program by assisting with recruiting candidates and providing career counseling.

“The Pinckney Cyber Training Institute is breaking down silos and fostering collaboration between academia, government and industry. Their work with the veteran community and this new designation is another example of the innovative solutions that PCTI is taking to fill a workforce pipeline that is needed on every industry,” said ​Sarah Tennant, ​Strategic Advisor of Cyber Initiatives at Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “PCTI is an integral part of Michigan’s cybersecurity ecosystem and the implementation of their veterans’ training program will be an asset to Michigan businesses and those companies that are looking to locate in the state.”

The Pinckney Cyber Training Institute is a hub of the Michigan Cyber Range. CyberRange Hubs act as magnet sites for communities’ cybersecurity ecosystems. Hubs offer cybersecurity education, training and workforce development.

For more information on utilizing G.I. Bill benefits toward cyber education, visit GIBill.va.gov.

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