2017: Year in Review & Looking ahead – Midwest Cyber Center

By Tony Bryan, Executive Director of the Midwest Cyber Center

 

It is that time of year again where individuals and companies set goals and priorities for the new year. It is also a time to look back at the past year on successes and failures. At the Midwest Cyber Center, we are not any different. We spent the last two weeks of 2017 reflecting on our accomplishments, building our personal and professional development plans for 2018, and of course enjoying some much-needed time off. I am so proud of my team for continuing to kill it with our program engagement and honored to lead them and our efforts.

Reflecting on 2017

The theme that resonated over and over for our work in 2017 was registered apprenticeship. We knew we wanted something aimed at non-traditional applicants interested in a cybersecurity career, but hadn’t settled on a delivery method. Thanks to an engaging elevator ride with our friends at Department of Labor, we created the third in the country and first in our region cybersecurity apprenticeship program.  Apprenticeship programs are celebrating 80 years of service, but the concept of technology centric programs are relatively new. We are at the forefront of this initiative and excited to see where it goes from here. We are also excited to see the lives changed and opportunities gained through participation.

We did grow our team from two to four! With the apprenticeship program growing as quickly as it has, it became clear we needed some more help. We welcomed Emily Layeski over the Summer as an intern. She did such a great job researching grants and serving as the ultimate utility knife player, I knew we had to add her. She is serving as our office coordinator. In November, we welcomed Jasmine Owens. Jasmine happens to be one of our stand out apprentices, who now gets to help the other apprentices be successful in their own journeys. She brings a great deal of passion to the office and a heart to serve others.

Looking Ahead to 2018

I have challenged the team to continue to work hard and grow our efforts. We have set big goals for our programs, our budget, and our overall mission.

In 2018, we will achieve the following:

  • We will educate and place 75 individuals through our scholarship and apprenticeship program.
  • We will recruit and mentor 100 CyberPatriot teams.
  • We will grow our budget to over $1 million in revenue with a combination of earned income, grants, and sponsorships.
  • We will lead the growth and the emergence of the bi-state region as a cybersecurity ecosystem.
  • We will expand the CTRL to include a St. Louis location.
  • We will successfully launch UntappedTECH.
  • We will successfully launch CyberJobsSTL.

 

These are big goals, and will require an incredible amount of effort internally and support from external partners. We are fortunate to have amazing supporters who believed in our work early, but we know it will take even more partners to get us to the above goals. If you would like to learn more about how you can get involved, please contact us today to find out how. Whether you are looking for talent, want to volunteer with the youth we engage, or sponsor any of the above, we would be honored to work with you. Here is to an incredible 2018!