McAuliffe announces Virginia’s first cybersecurity apprenticeship program

virginiaGovernor Terry McAuliffe announced the establishment of Virginia’s first registered cybersecurity apprenticeship, a partnership between Tidewater Community College (TCC) and Yorktown-based Peregrine Technical Solutions, LLC.

“As we work to build a new Virginia economy, we must not only protect our electronic infrastructure from cyberattacks, but also build a workforce ready to meet the demands of our growing, high-tech job market,”Governor McAuliffe said. “With this program, Tidewater Community College and Peregrine Technical Solutions, LLC will provide hands-on cybersecurity education that builds skillsets applicable to field demands. As a result, employers will have a pathway to hire and train cybersecurity apprentices with the confidence that students have fundamental technical training.”

The Governor made the announcement as he hosted his first Cyber-Physical Systems Summit at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Newport News. The Summit is being conducted in conjunction with the National Governors Association and is an extension of Governor McAuliffe’s Chairman’s initiative, Meet the Threat: States Confront the Cyber Challenge.

Formally approved by the Virginia Apprenticeship Council, the three new registered Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (VDOLI) apprenticeships in cybersecurity occupations are:

  • Information Security Analyst – Cyber Security Analyst;
  • Information Security Analyst – Computer Forensics Analyst; and
  • Information Security Analyst – Incident Response Analyst.

The VDOLI identified the knowledge, skills, and abilities for these occupations with input from industry and subject-matter experts.

“Competency-based registered apprenticeships are an integral element of a robust cyber-ecosystem,” said Karen Jackson, Secretary of Technology. “It is imperative that we offer students and career switchers interested in pursuing a career in cybersecurity opportunities to obtain in-demand skills, certifications, and credits while simultaneously working full-time and earning wages.”

“We are proud to be an educational partner for cybersecurity apprentice education,” said TCC President Edna V. Baehre-Kolovani. “It’s another example of our commitment to helping employers address their workforce needs.”

Peregrine Technical Solutions will be recruiting for its initial opening soon, with enrollment at TCC anticipated in early 2017.

“As we launch the first cybersecurity apprenticeship in the Commonwealth, we are delighted to be part of the solution to train highly skilled professionals to protect and defend data and resources,” said Leigh Armistead, President of Peregrine and a member of the TCC Workforce Advisory Board.

TCC is one of three Virginia community colleges designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security. The other two community colleges are Northern Virginia and Lord Fairfax.

Governor McAuliffe noted that Virginia alone has 17,000 cybersecurity job openings, and the field is among the fastest growing in the nation.

“I appreciate Governor McAuliffe’s leadership and the work of Secretary Jackson, the Department of Labor and Industry, Virginia’s Apprenticeship Council, and the Commerce & Trade Secretariat workforce development  team to achieve this important milestone,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore. “Governor McAuliffe issued Executive Order 49 last fall, setting up the state’s first fiscal incentives to sponsor registered apprentices in high tech and business occupations. In the program’s first year, we have seen the number of registered apprentices increase by 1100, and we are just getting started.”

In August, the Governor announced that students could apply for a $1 million state scholarship fund. The Virginia Cybersecurity Public Service Scholarship Program will award $20,000 a year to eligible Virginia students who are studying how to safeguard computer networks, data and electronic resources. In return, the students must commit to public service by working at a Virginia state agency or institution for as many years as they receive the scholarship.

“Virginia’s community colleges are the engines of the new Virginia economy and bastions of technological innovation,” said Secretary of Education Dietra Trent. “This first-of-its-kind apprenticeship program at Tidewater Community College is further proof that our community colleges are essential to establishing and sustaining a highly-skilled 21st century workforce.”

A recap of the Commonwealth’s cybersecurity initiatives is available at

For more information on TCC’s apprenticeship programs in Hampton Roads, contact Todd Estes, Director of theTCC Apprenticeship Institute, at

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