By: Tony Bryan

A little over four years ago a group of community leaders came together and presented an idea on how we can grow the regional workforce. These leaders included organizations like St. Louis Regional Chamber, Leadership Council of Southwestern Illinois, and Scott Air Force Base. The base was seeking a solution to their growing skills gap and a way to overcome hiring cleared personnel. There wasn’t an easy solution, but with the creation of CyberUp and a little bit of tenacity, collaboration, and community support we have a solution. With support from Boeing and the Scott Air Force Base Airman and Family Readiness Center, CyberUp has developed a pathway to help transitioning veterans begin a high paying career in cybersecurity.

On May 19th, CyberUp welcomed 20 veterans and military spouses into our inaugural Veteran LevelUp Program. The program targets veterans transitioning from active duty with 6 – 12 months left to their military commitment or active National Guard and Reservists. Participants will receive 6 months of free, virtual supported training by CyberUp. Their training will ramp up their technical and cybersecurity skills to CompTIA Security+. Upon completion of their training, veterans are eligible for apprenticeship placement services from CyberUp. Through placement at an employer partner of CyberUp, veterans will complete 2,000 hours as a paid apprentice and continue their technical skills training.

Scott Air Force Base is forecasted to have approximately 850 service members transition in 2020. This is the first step to attracting and training veterans in cybersecurity to stay in the St. Louis region. “This training opportunity provides military members a viable option to connect with a trending industry in need of competent Cyber Professionals.  It also empowers our Veterans to enter the Labor Force and perform a job commensurate with the responsibilities they held as service men and women,” Scott Raether, Employment Program Manager. Veterans are highly sought after by local companies because of their commitment to mission and core values. “We have a tremendous amount of talent transitioning each year from our partners at the base. The more we can do to incentivize them to stay in our region will help fill our growing skills gap. I would like to personally grow this program to account for a minimum of 10% of the veterans transitioning each year. When we do this right, we can help other military communities through apprenticeship and training. The opportunities for both the veteran and the region,” Tony Bryan, Executive Director at CyberUp explains.

To learn more about the Veteran LevelUp Program, please visit CyberUp’s website at www.wecyberup.org/levelup-veterans. Information about the program, how to apply, and additional upcoming class details can be found there.

ABOUT CYBERUP:

CyberUp is a 501c3 nonprofit with a mission is to cultivate the cybersecurity talent pipeline for today and tomorrow. They accomplish this through their nationally recognized LevelUp: Apprenticeship Program and their youth focused PowerUp: Cyber Games. To learn more, visit wecyberup.org, or contact Tony Bryan at tony@wecyberup.org or 314-764-5419.

ABOUT THE BOEING COMPANY: 

Through purposeful investments, employee engagement and thoughtful advocacy efforts, Boeing and its employees support innovative partnerships and programs that align with the company’s strategic objectives, create value and help build better communities worldwide. Boeing’s efforts are focused on improving access to globally competitive learning, contributing to workforce and skills development, and supporting our military and veteran communities. Chicago-based Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners and defense, space and security systems. A top U.S. exporter, the company supports airlines and U.S. and allied government customers in more than 150 countries.