Maryland eyes $15M for cybersecurity endeavors
Federal money would boost NIST, Anne Arundel efforts
The federal government plans to pump about $15 million more into cybersecurity initiatives in Maryland, federal and state lawmakers said Monday at an Annapolis transport communications and systems engineering company.
The lion's share $10 million would go toward launching a National Cybersecurity Center for Excellence at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, as part of an upcoming federal appropriations bill. The center will support the cybersecurity requirements of federal agencies, state and local governments, academia and private businesses, officials said.
"The idea is that we will have it as a civilian gateway to private industry to get involved with cybersecurity," said Rachel MacKnight, an aide to U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D) of Baltimore, chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science. "You can't do this at [the National Security Agency] or any of the military agencies, but you can do it at NIST."
MacKnight said the center will help build the state's cybersecurity work force and develop the industry, creating many jobs.
Separately, the appropriations bill also includes $15 million for NIST to conduct research on emerging cybersecurity technologies and threats.
"By taking the lead on developing standards for combating cyber-threats, NIST will make sure America's industrial secrets stay safe and its companies stay competitive," Mikulski said in a statement.
Mikulski made the announcement Monday at the Annapolis office of Arinc, a partner in the Pathways to Cyber Security Careers Consortium, to coincide with the U.S. Department of Labor's $5 million grant to another Arinc partner, the Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corp. The grant will create a new training program in cybersecurity and information assurance, which will provide training opportunities for more than 1,000 students, according to Mikulski's office.
"This grant will provide Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corporation and our other workforce partners with additional funds to retain our Dislocated Workers and get them back to work sooner," Kirkland Murray, president and CEO of the work force group, said in a statement. The group did not elaborate on the number of workers the grant would help find jobs.
"They're going to be graduating people that are going to be experts in cybersecurity. In all the services that we provide, cybersecurity is a threat so we will be hiring people from that background," said John Belcher, chairman and CEO of Arinc. "I really do believe it's going to be an excellent fit.
Arinc will also have staff in the new program's advisory board to ensure the trainees are graduating with the skills Arinc needs, he said.
"It's good for companies around this area and going to make a lot of people employable in this region," Belcher said.
Privately held Arinc, a portfolio company of The Carlyle Group with 3,200 employees, has more than 100 offices, including locations in California; Dayton, Ohio; Huntsville, Ala.; Oklahoma City; Omaha, Neb.; Panama City, Fla.; Singapore; and London, according to its website. It provides communications, engineering and integration services to the government and the military and other commercial industries.