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RCC’s $300K Grant to Train Cybersecurity Specialists

The National Science Foundation has given almost $300,000 to Robeson Community College, North Carolina, for a three-year expansion of cybersecurity training, Internet access other IT programming.

(TNS) — Robeson Community College has been awarded a nearly $300,000 grant intended to enhance the school's Information Technology program.

Rep. Dan Bishop, NC-09, announced the $299,792 grant from the National Science Foundation on Tuesday. The grant money is to help train cybersecurity officials in North Carolina.

"The threat of cybersecurity attacks from rogue actors such as China, Iran, and Russia are increasing every day in the 21st Century economy," Bishop said. "As a nation, we need to be properly equipped to handle such attacks with well-trained cybersecurity specialists. The program that Robeson Community College offers can help to achieve this goal and by providing funding to train North Carolinians against these attacks, we can ensure our state has the workforce to satisfy the needs of our evolving economy."

The grant will fund a three-year project called Robeson Cyber-Connect, which will start in May. The program will expand the Information Technology curriculum and include resources to assist students without Internet access. Robeson Cyber-Connect will also help create cybersecurity awareness on campus and in the community, said Lisa Hunt, assistant vice president for Grants and Foundation at RCC.

Students also will be connected to community partners as they complete internships in the program, Hunt said.

According to the U.S. Cyberspace Solarium Commission, the United States has a shortage of 31,000 cybersecurity jobs.

But funding in the Information Technology program at RCC can help address the shortage, by reaching one student at a time and providing them with support needed to enter into those careers, RCC President Melissa Singler said.

"The National Science Foundation grant is evidence of the hard work, innovation and dedication of our faculty. This grant allows us another opportunity to support our students who aspire to pursue a career in cybersecurity. Robeson Cyber-Connect, will ensure that our students are well-prepared cybersecurity technicians," Singler said.

"Our collaborative partnership with our Small Business Center, the Public Schools of Robeson County, and area small business and industry, will allow us to offer a strong work-based learning model," Singler added.

(c)2021 The Robesonian (Lumberton, N.C.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.