Spanberger Backs Bipartisan, Bicameral Bill to Strengthen Federal Cyber Workforce

The United States Faces Shortage of Approximately 410,000 Cybersecurity Professionals, According to 2023 Study

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today backed bipartisan, bicameral legislation to create two new federal training programs to strengthen the United States’ cyber defenses and cybersecurity workforce. One of the training programs would specifically recruit Veterans for these in-demand jobs.

Threats to the nation’s cybersecurity and critical infrastructure — particularly those from foreign adversaries, like the Chinese Communist Party — are growing increasingly complex. However, according to a 2023 study, the United States has a shortage of approximately 410,000 cybersecurity professionals.

The Spanberger-backed Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Expansion Act would establish a cybersecurity apprenticeship program in the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and a pilot program within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to provide cybersecurity training to Veterans. These programs would increase access to national security-focused federal jobs, provide workforce training opportunities, enable Veterans interested in cybersecurity to enter the civilian workforce, and help contend with the shortage of cybersecurity professionals. Additionally, this legislation would direct the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to identify where the gaps in the cybersecurity workforce persist within U.S. federal agencies.

“As the United States contends with an increasing number of sophisticated threats to our cybersecurity, critical infrastructure, and national security overall, the shortage of cybersecurity professionals in the workforce is leaving our government, private companies, and American families vulnerable to destabilizing attacks and foreign interference,” said Spanberger. “To strengthen our defenses against potential attacks, we must first invest in a strong, prepared cyber workforce. I’m proud to support this legislation to provide Veterans and public servants across our Commonwealth and our country with the resources they need to succeed as the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.”

The Spanberger-backed Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Expansion Act is supported by local non-profit organizations with a commitment to growing and educating the cyber workforce, like Cyber Bytes Foundation in Stafford, Virginia.

“Investing in the Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Expansion Act is not just a step forward in tomorrow’s workforce development; it’s a leap towards fortifying our nation’s cyber defenses,” said Cesar Nader, Executive Director,Cyber Bytes Foundation. “By empowering Cyber Bytes Foundation and its initiatives to ‘Educate/train/certify’ tomorrow’s technology workforce, this act will be instrumental in cultivating the skilled professionals needed to confront evolving cyber threats head-on. It’s not just about closing the gap; it’s about building a resilient force capable of safeguarding our digital infrastructure for generations to come.”

The Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Expansion Act is led in the U.S. House by U.S. Representatives Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA-06) and Mike Gallagher (R-WI-08). The legislation is led in the U.S. Senate by Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and John Cornyn (R-TX).

Click here for the full bill text.

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