September 29, 2023

The founding father of Craigslist donated $200,000 to an initiative supporting a cybersecurity program at traditionally black faculties and universities (HBCUs) in an effort to offer extra alternatives within the discipline to Black college students.

Craig Newmark has been closely concerned in efforts to construct out the cyber workforce within the U.S. and has donated thousands and thousands to a number of initiatives by his Craig Newmark Philanthropies group.

On August 28, the group gave the grant to the Nationwide Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA) – which began the “See Your self In Cyber” HBCU Profession Program final yr because of funding from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Safety Company (CISA), Dell and different high tech companies.

“I’m proud to assist the Nationwide Cybersecurity Alliance of their mission to empower underrepresented college students with the instruments and alternatives to achieve the cybersecurity discipline,” Newmark mentioned. “This program exemplifies the constructive impression that schooling and mentorship can have on constructing a various and expert workforce.”

Nearly precisely one yr in the past, the NCA introduced this system and mentioned it will function the connective tissue between cybersecurity companies and HBCUs like Prairie View A&M, Southern College, St. Philip’s School, Texas Southern College.

College students on the faculties could be given networking alternatives, mentoring applications, trainings, software implementations, one-on-one classes with cybersecurity consultants and extra.

A number of in-person occasions have been held at HBCUs throughout the nation the place cybersecurity officers from corporations like Trellix, Quanta and Proofpoint met with college students, offering recommendation on particular cybersecurity profession paths, what skilled cybersecurity jobs will appear to be and particular steering from current HBCU graduates working in cybersecurity.

Lisa Plaggemier, government director of the Nationwide Cybersecurity Alliance, mentioned the brand new funding from Newmark would allow them to broaden this system and permit extra college students from underrepresented backgrounds to “break into and excel within the quickly evolving cybersecurity sector.”

In April, the group introduced a scholarship program that may assist fund cybersecurity college students at Bennett School, Claflin College, Fayetteville State College, North Carolina Central College, Prairie View A&M College, St. Philip’s School, Southern College A&M School, Texas Southern College, Winston Salem State College.

“The cybersecurity and IT industries are rising at a speedy tempo and investing in a various workfield that includes completely different views, experiences and expertise is crucial to making sure the sector reaches its fullest potential,” Plaggemier mentioned.

“The HBCU Scholarship Program will go a good distance in direction of fulfilling the purpose of serving to under-represented teams enter and reach these professions.”

The NCA mentioned it plans to make use of the brand new funding to broaden its visitor lecturers and curriculum improvement; scholar coaching, certification, and job placement; and creating real-world experiences through internship alternatives.

Additionally they plan to make use of a portion of the funds to conduct digital occasions and amplify this system’s total attain.

One of many key pillars of the White Home’s Nationwide Cybersecurity Technique launched earlier this yr was workforce improvement and addressing the dearth of cybersecurity expertise within the U.S. There are nonetheless greater than 700,000 unfilled cybersecurity roles and Black candidates signify simply 9% of the workforce.

A number of HBCUs have created cybersecurity certificates applications and majors in recent times whereas CISA has additionally invested closely in applications designed to extend cyber literacy at a younger age in minority communities.

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Jonathan Greig

Jonathan Greig is a Breaking Information Reporter at Recorded Future Information. Jonathan has labored throughout the globe as a journalist since 2014. Earlier than transferring again to New York Metropolis, he labored for information retailers in South Africa, Jordan and Cambodia. He beforehand lined cybersecurity at ZDNet and TechRepublic.