Jorrel Verella, District Director for California State Assemblymember Jose Medina, attended the Inland Empire Kickoff to continue Medina’s support for CyberPatriot at the Cyberhub as Chair of the Assembly’s Higher Education Committee.
Medina hosted a special hearing on cybersecurity education in October and created Assembly Bill 276, which calls on colleges and universities throughout the state to issue a report on cybersecurity education and training programs.
“If we are to address the growing needs of the cybersecurity industry, especially in the Inland Empire, it is imperative that we begin cybersecurity training for students in middle and high school,” Medina said. “I am extremely impressed by the incredible work being done by CyberPatriot students, instructors, and administrators in the 61st Assembly District. CyberPatriot gives students valuable skills to not only succeed now but will address our region’s workforce needs in the future.”
A total of 5584 teams from around the country competed in round 1, and 54 of them earned a perfect score of 222. Nearly half of those teams were from California — which is a testament to the work that has been done so far to promote cybersecurity education around the state.
That hard work was on display during the competition and was easy to see by those who attended the kickoff event. Educators also had the opportunity to learn more about the resources available through the California Cyberhub.
“It was wonderful to learn about the work of the California Cyberhub and the tremendous support in this region for our students to be trained in a field that is in great demand,” said Melody Graveen, Dean of Career Technical Education at Moreno Valley College. “Watching the students during their competition as they worked through the various problems they were given was truly impressive.”
Partnerships between high schools and community colleges are essential to creating a pathway toward jobs in the cybersecurity field. There are about 45,000 cybersecurity job openings throughout the state and not enough people to fill them.
This presents an opportunity for students from all backgrounds to receive the education and training necessary to meet workforce demand. High schools and colleges are eager to work together on making that happen.
“The partnership with Moreno Valley College and the MVUSD Cyber Academic program affords our students viable career pathways and is a testament to the forward progression of our ongoing mission and strategic plan in giving Moreno Valley students the best academic opportunities and a bright future in STEM-related careers,” said Martinrex Kedziora, Superintendent of the Moreno Valley Unified School District.
Beyond the educational partnerships, the Inland Empire Kickoff also served as an introduction to CyberPatriot and Cyberhub for the United Way of the Inland Valleys. United Way Program Manager Jennifer Thornton attended the event and hopes to create a CyberPatriot team for students at the United Way.
Thornton said she was impressed by how collaboratively the students worked together and how well they were supported by their instructors and everyone who worked behind the scenes.
“I walked away with a feeling of joy knowing that the youth in our community are supported in such a tremendous way,” Thornton said.
CyberPatriot Qualification Round 2 for Inland Empire will be held December 9 at Moreno Valley College.