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Cyber Training and Education Conference Held
July 18, 2018

Leaders from the business, academic, veterans, and local, state and federal government communities convened recently at the Cyber Training and Education Conference, held on the George Mason University Science and Technology campus in Manassas, Virginia. The conference’s purpose was to tackle a critical issue facing the region — 43,200 vacant jobs in cyber technology waiting for workers.

Recognizing the exploding cyber technology marketplace and seeing the need and opportunity to meet that challenge — via both traditional and alternative education and training methodologies – for area students as well as the burgeoning veteran’s population, conference organizers called together a wide range of stakeholders to outline a battle plan to meet that need.

Liza Wilson Durant, Associate Dean Strategic Initiatives and Community Engagement in the George Mason Volgenau School of Engineering, opened the conference by welcoming the attendees and reinforcing the critical need for properly trained employees of the future. “At Mason, we’re engaged in a sprint to develop new, and expand existing STEM programs to support the industry demand, but we simply cannot graduate students fast enough.”

According to information, hundreds of attendees filled the auditorium at the Mason Sci-Tech campus to learn more about the future of cyber technology. The conference offered two tracks – one for teachers interested in developing and delivering curriculum for K-12 students as well as for administrators at area institutions of higher education; the second for veterans interested in applying their skills learned in the armed services to the cyber technology field. Various panels throughout the conference discussed the ways and means to achieve the best outcome to pave pathways to cyber employment.

Peggy Tadej, Director of Military Affairs for the Northern Virginia Regional Commission, one of the sponsors of the event, noted “We need more partnering like this conference; we need everyone to join in and be part of the solution.”

Other sponsors included Prince William County, Northern Virginia Technology Council, Cisco, Booz Allen Hamilton, Northern Virginia Community College, Mason’s Game and Technology Academy, Mason’s Volgenau School of Engineering and Mason’s Serious Game Institute.

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