DoD Expanding Cybersecurity Workforce through Registered Apprenticeship Programs

Nov. 14. 2022

On the heels of President Biden’s proclamation on National Apprenticeship Week, designated November 13 through November 19, 2022, the Department of Defense is contributing to the celebration of America’s workers and highlighting the importance of apprenticeship programs run by unions, employers, and other organizations. A White House event held earlier today highlighted efforts across the federal government to meet the national demand for cybersecurity workers, including a number of ongoing DoD initiatives. A full White House Fact Sheet on the event is available here.

Yesterday, the Department issued a memo – jointly signed by the Chief Information Officer and the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition & Sustainment – aimed at expanding the cybersecurity workforce by encouraging the use of Registered Apprenticeship programs.

The memo emphasizes that removing formal education barriers and hiring based on skills, combined with the use of Registered Apprenticeship programs, provide a faster pipeline to acquire talent, increase the talent pool, and enhance diversity by allowing applicants to enter the workforce through nontraditional pathways. These efforts will help DoD and the Defense Industrial Base continue to identify, recruit, develop, and retain the cybersecurity workforce in order to support the Nation’s efforts to defend against current and future cyber threats and attacks.

Under the umbrella of Department’s United Services Military Apprenticeship Program (USMAP), DoD and the Department of Labor also partnered to establish the first Federal Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Program in January 2022. Since inception, DoD identified and developed standards for 15 critical cybersecurity occupations to not only address military needs, but potentially serve as a model for other Federal agencies as well. All 15 have been finalized and approved, 10 of which were approved during a 120-Day Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Sprint completed today.

Run by the U.S. Department of Labor in coordination with the White House Office of the National Cyber Director, Departments of Commerce, Homeland Security, Defense and other federal agencies, the Sprint promoted the Registered Apprenticeship model as a solution for numerous industries to develop and train a skilled and diverse cybersecurity workforce. The initiative also supported the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to expand Registered Apprenticeship to build a pipeline of skilled workers into good jobs, with a focus on underserved communities that need them the most.

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