Turning Innovation Into Enterprise

Press Releases

TechConnect Announces WV Cybersecurity Workforce Strategic Initiative

MEDIA ADVISORY

January 15, 2019

Fairmont, W.Va. – With the goals of developing a more robust cybersecurity workforce, capitalizing on emerging tech employment opportunities and enhancing economic diversification, TechConnect West Virginia released the West Virginia Cybersecurity Workforce Strategic Initiative on Tuesday, Jan. 15, at the West Virginia High Technology Foundation in Fairmont. To view the report, click here.

Developed in partnership with the West Virginia Office of Technology, the W.Va. High Technology Consortium, the West Virginia National Guard and West Virginia Forward, the West Virginia Cybersecurity Workforce Strategic Initiative is a multi-faceted plan to train and employ state residents in the fields of cybersecurity.

The threats and costs associated with cybersecurity crimes are increasing and becoming more and more complex. It is projected that cybercrime damage costs are projected to hit $6 trillion annually by 2021.It is estimated that there are nearly 1,000 cybersecurity job openings currently in West Virginia and more than 100,000 across the United States.

“West Virginia has tremendous opportunity to grow its tech economy through preparing workers for cybersecurity positions,” said Anne Barth, executive director of TechConnect.  “This plan seeks to outline and coordinate the stakeholders (higher education, secondary education, assistance providers, etc.) involved in providing cybersecurity education, training and employment and offers a comprehensive strategy for growing this industry here in West Virginia.”

Barth noted a few of the primary goals of the Cybersecurity Workforce Strategic Initiative are to:

  • Establish a West Virginia Cyber Education Consortium.
  • Provide additional West Virginia resources to grow the cyber capabilities of the stateʼs higher education institutions.
  • Collaborate to lay the foundation for a statewide Cyber Center of Excellence that encourages use of best practices and opens opportunities for federal grant funding.
  • Develop and fund a 13th year cybersecurity learning program through the WV Department of Education.

For additional information, contact Anne Barth at (304) 444-2918 or via email at anne@techconnectwv.org.