The White House, along with the Departments of Labor and Commerce, are kicking off a 120-day “sprint” aimed at promoting registered apprenticeships in cybersecurity as a way to begin tackling the persistent cyber workforce shortage in the U.S.

The new apprenticeship program was the headline news from the National Cyber Workforce and Education Summit convened by the White House on July 19 and led by National Cyber Director Chris Inglis.

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The White House described the new Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Sprint as a national campaign “to encourage employers, industry associations, labor unions, and training providers to explore Registered Apprenticeship as a recruitment, training, and retention strategy,” while connecting with Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship to develop new apprenticeship programs or join existing ones.

The 120-day Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Sprint seeks to accomplish the following:

  • Increase awareness of currently successful cyber-related apprenticeship programs, partnerships, and initiatives and how industry is using them to educate and train a skilled cyber workforce to reduce cybersecurity risk;
  • Advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) across cybersecurity occupations through Registered Apprenticeship;
  • Educate the public on efforts the Office of Apprenticeship is taking to accelerate the process through assisting employers in launching programs in less than 48 hours by using industry vetted and Labor-approved standards;
  • Recruit employers to explore Registered Apprenticeship and partner with Labor and Commerce’s National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) to help meet critical cyber workforce needs; and
  • Connect career seekers to cyber apprenticeship opportunities.

Inglis was joined by a handful of leaders from other agencies at the summit, including Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo; Secretary of Labor Martin J. Walsh; Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas; Ambassador Susan E. Rice, Director of the Domestic Policy Council; Under Secretary of Education James Kvaal; Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Jen Easterly; Anne Neuberger, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Technology on the National Security Council.

Other summit discussion items focused on:

  • The benefits to filling open cybersecurity positions, allowing the U.S. to build pipelines for untapped talent; and
  • How investing in cyber training and education can enable Americans to be successful in a digital economy and to empower society to harness cyber capabilities to achieve individual and collective aspirations.
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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.