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The National Science Foundation aims to fill growing need for experts in the workplace.

PMG PHOTO: JOSEPH GALLIVAN - The cybersecurity field is growing as companies need more security online, and workforce training programs like this are critical.The National Science Foundation has awarded Portland Community College a $189,000 grant to go toward building a cybersecurity training program, the school announced April 15.

The NSF grant also comes from its GenCyber Program, which is intended to offer cybersecurity experiences for students in grades K-12, as well as teachers.

As more companies embrace digital and mobile practices, there is a growing need for cybersecurity experts in the workforce.

Next, PCC will help assemble a GenCyber Instructor Survival Kit for middle and high school cybersecurity and computer science teachers across the nation, to be uploaded to the CLARK Curriculum Library. According to PCC, this library is host to one of the largest compilations of cybersecurity curriculum, put together by top researchers and peer-reviewed by experts.

The PCC project director for the program is Cara Tang.

PCC already partners with local K-12 districts for dual credits, completion programs and summer camps, among other services, and Tang said the NSF grant and cybersecurity program is a natural extension of these services.

"The project will ensure that GenCyber lessons and activities are available for cyber training camps as well as for K-12 teachers looking to teach cybersecurity in their classrooms," Tang said. "There is a demonstrated need for a repository that provides K-12 cybersecurity teachers with resources created by the GenCyber community and beyond."

PCC statements also said the college plans to partner with nonprofit SecureEd for the cybersecurity curriculum.

"PCC is committed to equitable student success and leadership in cybersecurity education," Tang said.


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