President Biden’s National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC) is preparing a report for the White House National Security Council (NSC) focused on “challenges facing the critical infrastructure workforce and the risks to national security posed by a lack of skilled workers,” and paying special attention to the cybersecurity workforce.

According to NIAC’s quarterly business meeting, NIAC created a working group to lead the study, which is set to be completed in July.

NSC asked NIAC to prepare the report, with a special interest in cybersecurity workforce and training, as well as “the potential impact of machine learning and artificial intelligence on critical infrastructure jobs, skills, and training.” Additionally, the report will explore creating or enhancing credentials for the critical infrastructure workforce.

Recommendations from the interim report for the near-term include requesting the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to track interagency critical infrastructure workforce efforts, using existing Federal authority “to foster the development of national standards and incentivize quality training for essential jobs,” and to establish a critical infrastructure workforce coordinating council within the White House.

For mid-term recommendations, NIAC recommends the government develop national job quality and training standards, “launch a public awareness campaign to highlight the importance and opportunity of critical infrastructure jobs,” and assist state and local governments to expand work-based training programs.

For the long-term, NIAC hopes to develop and regularly update a National Critical Infrastructure Workforce Plan, as well as build “a ‘K-Grey’ system that connects education to career development and provides lifelong learning opportunities to all Americans.”

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk's Assistant Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.