Cyber Proud Launches to Close the Region’s Cyber Skills Gap

By Coleen

Free CARES Act funded program gives job seekers essential training for careers in technology

Sacramento, CA (October 9, 2020) – Theunprecedented pandemic has resulted in the Sacramento region experiencing record layoff numbers over the last six months. As the economy begins to rebound, one industry is positioned to be a bright spot in the recovery – the technology sector. Cyber Proud, a newly formed non-profit, aims to cultivate the next generation skilled cyber workforce starting with a free eight-week apprenticeship program for cybersecurity and infrastructure support careers.

Our technology needs continue to evolve as a result of Covid-19 every day; from consumers using technology to stay connected to work, to participate in online learning, to fulfill basic needs like grocery shopping and to stay connected with friends and family. We are dependent on seamless access to information 24/7. However, what may be less known, or what is perhaps unappreciated, is the magnitude of the workforce that is needed to make all of this possible. 

“We chose to launch Cyber Proud in Sacramento because it’s a city that is known for its resiliency,” said Coleen Morehead, Founder and CEO of Cyber Proud. “We are looking for individuals who can join the movement of Cyber Talent who can be brave, bold and strong and respond to the technological needs locally and globally.”

June 2020 Unemployment & Labor Force data provided by the State of California Employment Development Department (EDD) indicated roughly 180,000 unemployed workers in the six-county region that encompasses the Sacramento area. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has caused staggering business closures and layoffs across the region, the demand for workers with specialized technical and cyber skills has continued to grow. 

“Cyber Proud was founded with the mission to foster and mobilize the creation of a robust network of technology experts by working in collaboration with the Sacramento community, business and educational leaders to promote an inclusive cyber talent revolution,” said Coleen Morehead, Founder and CEO of Cyber Proud. “The program will arm job-seekers with the intangible skills needed to have a successful career, particularly in the cybersecurity sector which is projected to hit 3.5 million unfilled jobs by next year.”

Cyber Proud’s CARES-funded workforce program was made possible by a grant from the City of Sacramento. This unique program is designed to help businesses bridge the widening technical skill gaps through the recruitment and training of candidates that can meet today’s technology talent demands. This cybersecurity focused pre-apprenticeship will serve selected candidates in a no-cost intensive, eight-week program that is offered in partnership with Woz Enterprise – a division of Woz U. The result will be a workforce that is resilient and innovative to support the economy that is powered by secure technologies and driven by a highly skilled diverse cyber workforce.

The program is currently seeking applicants for the apprenticeship program, as well as corporate partners to hire individuals who complete the pre-apprenticeship training.

“In these uncertain times, our abundance of local talent has kept us connected and allowed segments of our community to prosper and support our economy. But there is more work to be done,” said Morehead. “There are many ways to support these efforts: become a mentor, become a sponsor, provide a scholarship, or refer someone to the pre-apprenticeship program.”

More information can be found at: cyberproud.org.

About Cyber Proud

Cyber Proud, Inc. was formed for the purposes of developing an industry led nonprofit coalition that is dedicated to cultivating the next generation of a skilled cyber workforce. They mission is to foster and mobilize the creation of a robust network and integrated ecosystem led by industry working in collaboration with community and educational leaders to promote an inclusive cyber talent revolution. The intended result is a resilient and innovative economy that is powered by secure technologies and driven by a highly skilled diverse cyber workforce that is capable of building, maintaining and securing our shared digital assets.

About Woz Enterprise

As a division of Woz U, Woz Enterprise helps recruit, retrain, and retain qualified employees with flexible, customizable, career-focused training content, with the option to white-label programs using our proprietary learning experience platform. With a curriculum that is updated every two weeks, we are empowering individuals in high-demand technology careers and helping to close the skills gap while adhering to global technology education and business standards. We help companies achieve their objectives by providing valuable technology training tools to upskill their workforce and ultimately grow their business. Woz U is an Arizona-based digital learning eco-system designed to train, cultivate, and upgrade talent in technology fields to meet the workforce needs of today and the future.