Florida Center for Cybersecurity

New Skills for a New Fight wins "Veteran Program of the Year" award

TAMPA, Fla. (October 19, 2016) – The Tampa Bay Technology Forum (TBTF) has recognized New Skills for a New Fight (NSNF) as their "Veteran Program of the Year." According to TBTF, this award identifies a "company or organization that developed an innovative and effective veteran transition, training, or hiring program."

NSNF was founded in 2014 through a grant from JPMorgan Chase & Co. This no-cost training and certification program focuses on preparing veterans for specific, high-demand positions in cybersecurity.

Students enrolled in this intensive, 40-week program studied full time on campus. Its curriculum includes 15 weeks of academic instruction, 10 weeks of hands-on training and 15 weeks of on-the-job training. Acceptance includes free tuition, books and certification vouchers. In the final program phase, students will take the following certification exams: ISACA CSX Practitioner, CompTIA Security+ and CompTIA Network+.

Although in its pilot year, this program has already opened the door to careers in cybersecurity for every student. All 20 participants have received a cybersecurity internship or employment offer for the final, 15-week training portion. Some students even received multiple offers.

The NSNF program has been well received because it helps fill today's serious cybersecurity skills gap. Across the U.S., hundreds of thousands of cybersecurity positions go unfilled due to a talent shortage. By tapping into our veterans, this program targets individuals who may already have the security clearance, baseline training and work ethic needed to excel in this field.

"We are very proud of our student veterans who dedicated their time and effort to successfully complete this intensive program," said Adam Sheffield, Associate Director at the Florida Center for Cybersecurity (FC2). "Without their dedication, and the effort of all our center staff, we would not have been able to validate the assumptions we made over two years ago."

The ultimate goal of this program is to act as a template for other institutions to duplicate. Staff at FC2 are currently reviewing and assessing this year's results to identify any updates that could make the next session even more successful.

About the Tampa Bay Technology Forum

The Tampa Bay Technology Forum (TBTF) is a membership organization made up of leading technology companies in the Tampa region. Since its inception in 2000, it has grown into an association with hundreds of member companies that represents numerous industries and thousands of local employees. Through events, education, and philanthropy programs, TBTF helps companies come together to grow, connect and be part of a dynamic tech community.

About the Florida Center for Cybersecurity

Created during the 2014 legislative session, the Florida Center for Cybersecurity (FC2) is a shared resource for cybersecurity research, education and outreach across the state and beyond. The Center fosters collaboration between higher education, government, defense and business communities to share knowledge, resources and training opportunities that help mitigate cybersecurity threats and create opportunities for innovative solutions. Located at the University of South Florida, FC2 is leading efforts to position Florida as a national leader in cybersecurity.

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Media Contact: Daniel Goodson, 813-974-1912

New Skills for a New Fight was named “Veteran Program of the Year” by the Tampa Bay Technology Forum.