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Microsoft Gives $50K to El Paso CC Cybersecurity Program

The grant from Microsoft Philanthropies will go toward mentorship, financial assistance, and the development of a curriculum from the National Cybersecurity Training & Education Center that includes Microsoft training.

El Paso Community College.jpg
El Paso Community College
(TNS) — El Paso Community College has received a $50,000 grant from Microsoft Philanthropies for the college's cybersecurity program.

The funds will go toward mentorship and developing a curriculum from the National Cybersecurity Training & Education Center, to include Microsoft training and certifications for faculty and financial assistance for EPCC students to complete degrees and certificates in cybersecurity or computing.

The grant was made possible because of the Microsoft's Techspark Texas initiative to help underserved groups access technology jobs.

"Cybersecurity will be critical to ensuring that El Paso's businesses and key services like healthcare, education and government can thrive in an ever-increasing digital age," said JJ Childress, El Paso region community engagement manager for the group. "We have an opportunity to provide diverse and world-class talent to meet the needs of a highly in-demand profession."

More than 400 EPCC students have completed a degree or certificate in cybersecurity at the college. Many graduates of the program go on to work in technology and cybersecurity positions with the military, banking, in education and with law enforcement agencies throughout the El Paso region, according to an EPCC news release.

The college's cybersecurity program received the Center of Academic Excellence Designation from the National Security Agency ( NSA) in 2018.

"Certifications are fine for mastering the emerging and current technology, however, certifications will upgrade to embrace the evolving technology," EPCC Information Technology Systems professor Tony Vargas said in a news release Wednesday. "For a technician to successfully upgrade to the new certificates, a requirement in most companies, a foundation of understanding for the technology is essential for the network professional. This understanding is what a program based in cybersecurity can provide."

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