The trophy will remain on display at the mayor’s office until next year’s California Mayors Cyber Cup Challenge as a way to spread awareness about cybersecurity education. Both teams will advance to the statewide California Cyber Innovation Challenge in San Luis Obispo.

“By participating in this prestigious event, I developed new techniques in finding cybersecurity vulnerabilities. I was also very thrilled and proud that our team made first place and had the honor of presenting the trophy to our mayor,” said Hope Gillett, a member of the winning team from Martin Luther King High School.

There is a strong demand for cybersecurity professionals throughout California, and partnerships are crucial to meeting that demand. As a step toward that goal, the California Cyberhub brought together stakeholders from business, government and education for California Mayors Cyber Cup Challenge events throughout the state.

Cybersecurity education is a growing movement and one that everyone can join. Students, teachers, parents and community members do not need to have any previous technical experience or cybersecurity knowledge to get involved in a cyber competition.

Billy Singfield, who coached the winning team to victory said ROTC provides an outlet for students to foster their interest in cybersecurity.

“I’m extremely proud of our kids and work extremely hard at everything that they do,” Singfield said. “They are passionate about security and technology fields, and will have the opportunity to pursue them in the Navy.”

Cyber competitors come from all walks of life and represent the best and brightest of what California has to offer. Daunting cybersecurity challenges face our communities and businesses, but students across California are receiving the training necessary to conquer them.

Much like the students collaborated on their cyber challenges, these groups are working together to ensure that students from all backgrounds have access to the tools that will prepare them to fill the demand for cybersecurity workers in California.

Not only do the students at Martin Luther King High School excel in cyber competitions, they also help other schools in their region come on board with CyberPatriot. This past school year, they hosted Ramona High School and Paloma Valley High School to observe their CyberPatriot practice rounds and capture the flag competitions.

California Cyberhub Community Manager Donna Woods said this collaboration exemplifies the teamwork needed to meet the demand for cybersecurity jobs.

“We can achieve so much more when we work together, and Billy and his team at Martin Luther King High School are living proof of that,” Woods said. “We need to see even more innovation and collaboration like this to help bring cyber competitions to all students across California.”

Keith Tresh, commander of the California Cybersecurity Integration Center in the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, said he was impressed by the students he saw at the California Mayors Cyber Cup Challenge and that the need for well-trained cybersecurity professionals has never been greater.

“It’s really cool to see that this generation is looking at this kind of work and excelling at it,” Tresh said. “Cybersecurity is an insurance policy, and people are now realizing that if you don’t have that insurance policy in place, it can have a dramatic impact on a company.”

The California Cyberhub is promoting participation in camps and new coach training being held throughout the summer to build on the energy generated at the California Mayors Cyber Cup Challenge and bring cybersecurity education to even more students across the state.

Attending a camp or workshop is a great way to learn more about cybersecurity and the path toward a steady, high-paying job in California. We welcome all students at our events and are eager to partner with community organizations to increase access to these programs. For more information, visit https://cyber-guild.org/cyber-camps.

About the California Cyberhub 

The California Cyberhub is a virtual, neutral, nimble online organization that is a collaboration of public higher education, K-12, government, business, and military working to enable a future workforce of ethical cybersecurity experts in California. Their mission is to enable a future ethical workforce by expanding and supporting quality cyber training across the State with a one-stop source for best practices and resources gathered from all cyber training and competition activities in California.

About Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy – Strong Workforce Program

Doing What MATTERS for jobs and the economy is a four-pronged framework to respond to the call of our nation, state, and regions to close the skills gap. The four prongs are: Give Priority for Jobs and the Economy » Make Room for Jobs and the Economy » Promote Student Success » Innovate for Jobs and the Economy.

The goals of Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy are to supply in-demand skills for employers, create relevant career pathways and stackable credentials, promote student success, and get Californians into open jobs.

About the California Cybersecurity Integration Center (Cal-CSIC)

The California Cybersecurity Integration Center was created in 2015 to reduce the likelihood and severity of cyber attacks, improve inter-agency and cross-sector collaboration, prioritize cyber threats and alert potential victims, and strengthen the state’s cybersecurity strategy. The Cal-CSIC is made up of four core partners, including the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, the California Department of Technology, the California Military Department, and the California Highway Patrol.

Riverside Mayors CupBack Row: Riverside City Council Members Mike Gardner, Andy Melendrez, Mike Soubirous, Chuck Conder, Chris Mac Arthur, Jim Perry, Steve Adams Front Row: Hope Gillette, Mason Cleland, Brett Hile, Arnib Quazi, Ethan Michalak (team captain) Rusty Bailey (Mayor), Donna Woods (Ca Cyberhub), Susanne Mata (ICT/DM Deputy Sector Navigator)

Riverside2Pictured: Brett Hile, Arnib Quazi, Ethan Michalak, Hope Gillette, Mason Cleland

The program’s first cohort placed 28 apprentices with 18 companies through a direct matching process. Speccierla and SLO Partners Business Liaison Dan Weeks took a different approach to apprenticeships by connecting directly with companies to gauge their needs early in the process rather than relying on job posting sites after the apprentices are trained.

This personal touch resulted in greater success since the training offered matched the needs of the companies and the apprentice’s profile fit with the company’s culture.

Weeks said these relationships allowed SLO Partners to hear directly from businesses about what they needed and how the apprentices could deliver that value to local companies.

“We wanted to create demand, create value that apprentice is a desirable component for their business,” Weeks said. “All the jobs are in the small companies, who are the ones looking to hire local professionals.”

Clever Ducks, an IT consulting firm in San Luis Obispo, currently has three apprentices who are gaining hands-on experience from the company’s more seasoned employees. Co-founder Amy Kardel sees the apprenticeship program as a critical part of building and sustaining a cybersecurity workforce.

“When we think about cybersecurity we think often of only the point of the spear cyber warrior types, but cybersecurity requires a whole army of skilled tech workforce to set things up correctly in the IT environment and maintain them,” Kardel said. “Apprenticeships let us train this essential workforce efficiently and meet the needs of the job market while giving people a great start in a growing career field.”

Although still in its infancy, the program is already delivering the boost of confidence students need to be successful in the IT world.

“Ticket into Tech taught me skills that have proven to be invaluable in the apprenticeship position they placed me in,” said a student who completed an apprenticeship at Amazon. “The learning has continued each day of my on the job training, and I feel confident that I am now on the right path toward achieving personal success in a career that I truly enjoy.”

The program is coordinated by SLO Partners, part of the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education. SLO Partners was formed in 2014 to align business needs with educational pathways and work experience to meet the county’s workforce needs. The county is facing a unique problem with the 2024 planned closure of Diablo Canyon Power Plant which will leave hundreds of skilled workers without jobs.

The group’s goal is to fill 1000 tech positions by the time Diablo Canyon closes by offering retraining as well as opportunities for those never in the tech industry. However, many jobs in IT and cybersecurity require at least a few years of professional experience, which leaves many people interested in the career path without a place to start.

SLO Partners is preparing for Ticket Into Tech’s second year and recently announced a partnership with Full Stack Academy to launch a 18-week coding boot camp that will serve as a precursor to an apprenticeship. Students can choose from pathways toward becoming an IT technician, software test technician, or software developer.

The program requires an application and 10 hours of pre-work that’s available online or in person at CodeSLO. For more information, visit slopartners.org.

Ticket into tech

The IT Fundamentals voucher program is the brainchild of Steve Linthicum, Deputy Sector Navigator for Information Communication Technologies and Digital Media in the Orange County Region. Linthicum has a strong relationship with CompTIA and negotiated a partnership with CompTIA, ITProTV, and Practice Labs while attending the CompTIA Academy Partner Program Summit last summer.

So far, about a quarter of the 1,000 vouchers have been utilized by everyone from middle school students to cyber coaches and instructors. More than 80 percent of all participants passed the CompTIA certification exam, and more than 75 percent passed it on their first attempt.

Those numbers also hold true when looking specifically at middle and high school students, with 151 passes out of 183 attempts and 135 passes on the first try.

Pinkston said he found Practice Labs much easier to use than other training methods he previously tried. Earning the CompTIA certification gave him the boost of confidence he needed to end the school year.

“All your fear goes away and, for me personally, I felt accomplished with my senior year,” he said. “It has brought me a new outlook on the IT/security industry and an even higher outlook at what I can achieve.”

In fact, Pinkston came close to dropping out of high school before he found technology. His teacher, California Cyberhub Community Manager Donna Woods, witnessed the transformation as he discovered his future in IT.

“He had given up, but we found where his strengths were and worked with those abilities,” Woods said. “He literally jumped out of his seat when he found out that he passed the exam.”

Establishing the importance of certifications early on is essential for getting students to buy into the idea that they are important for success in IT and cybersecurity. In fact, certifications can lead to a high-paying job that does not require a college degree — especially when combined with apprenticeships and other professional experience.

“We have introduced students to industry-recognized certifications and most of them now have their first certification, a recognized key to success for IT/cybersecurity careers,” Linthicum said. “Entry-level positions do not require an associate or bachelor’s degree. Students entering this career path can obtain additional higher level certifications through courses offered by California’s community colleges.”

The IT Fundamentals exam is the only one that can be proctored outside of a testing center. The ITProTV training videos and Practice Labs exercises can be accessed anywhere, which makes it ideal for teachers to utilize in their classrooms as a supplement to cyber competition activities.

Linthicum has already made plans to continue the voucher program into the next school year and make sure it aligns with the latest version of the certification exam, which will be released in the fall.

In addition, Linthicum is serving as the instructor for the free CompTIA’s train-the-trainer course for the IT Fundamentals certification exam, scheduled in July and August. The course is online and designed for teachers or others who want to prepare students for the exam. Participants can register for the course at bit.ly/2KQrsw7.

To learn more or apply for a voucher, visit the California Cyberhub’s IT Fundamental Voucher Program page.

Jordan Cunningham, CA State Assembly, Committee on Career Technical Education & Building a 21st Century Workforce
Kevin Kiley, CA State Assembly, Vice Chair of the Committee on Education
Jose Medina, CA State Assembly & Chair of the Assembly Committee on Higher Education
Sharon Quirk-Silva, CA State Assembly, Chair of the Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy Committee
Erle Hall, Education Programs Consultant for California Department of Education
Rusty Bailey, Mayor, City of Riverside
Ken Broadway, Mayor, City of Rocklin
Doug Chaffee, Mayor, City of Fullerton
Dr. Yxstian A. Gutierrez, Mayor, Moreno Valley
Darrell Steinburg, Mayor, City of Sacramento
Ulises Cabrera, Moreno Valley City Council
David Marquez, Moreno Valley City Council

Steve Wright, Director & Sector Navigator ICT/DM, California Community Colleges
Myron Curtis, Deputy Sector Navigator ICT/DM, Far North Region
Markus Geissler, Deputy Sector Navigator ICT/DM, North Region (Greater Sacramento)
Richard Grotegut, Deputy Sector Navigator ICT/DM, Bay Area Region
Paula Hodge, Deputy Sector Navigator ICT/DM, South Central Coast Region
Steve Linthicum, Deputy Sector Navigator ICT/DM, Orange County Region
Susanne Mata, Deputy Sector Navigator ICT/DM, Inland Empire/Desert Region
Dennis Mohle, Deputy Sector Navigator ICT/DM, Central Valley/Mother Lode Region
Melody Graveen Ed.D., Dean of Instruction and CTE Director, Moreno Valley College
Nancy S. Jones, Ed.D., Dean of Business and CTE Coastline Community College
Dr. Martinrex Kedziora, Superintendent of Schools, Moreno Valley Unified School District
Sean McNally, CyberPatriot Coordinator, Greater Sacramento Region
Carey Peck, CyberPatriot Coordinator, LAUSD Beyond the Bell
Ron Vito, Executive Director, Riverside County Office of Education

Ricky Doyle, Director, Practice Labs
Liz Fraumann, Executive Director, Securing Our eCity Foundation
Peter Janzow, Vice President, Credly
Claire Jefferson-Glipa, IT Education Manager, ConvergeOne
Paul Johnson, Cyber Engineer, Northrop Grumman Corporation
Brian Mazelle, CompTIA
Kimberly A. Pease, CISSP, Vice President, Citadel-Information
Bruce Pixley, President, Pixley Forensics
Wendy Porter, Chicostart Director, growTech Founder
Peter Sibley, Inform Journyes
Anthony Smith, Security Engineer, Sony
Kevin Spease, President / CEO, ISSE Services
Stan Stahl, Ph.D., President, Citadel-Information
James Stanger, Chief Technology Evangelist, CompTIA
Jennifer Thornton, Program Manager, United Way of Inland Valleys
Oscar Valdepena, President/CEO Moreno Valley Chamber of Commerce
Bradley Wolfenden, Director, Cyber Academics Partnerships, Circadence Corporation

Following the morning cybersecurity training sessions and lunch, students will participate in Coding Olympics. In Coding Olympics, students will explore microcontroller and embedded system programming, using Arduino and Raspberry Pi. Arduino coding activities will include programming LED, sound, motion and distance sensors using C++ programming language on Sketch, Arduino Integrated Development Environment (IDE). A fun and enjoyable project that the students will experience in Coding Olympics will be creating a Playdoh Arduino Touch Sensor piano, in which students will utilize touch sensor library in C++ in parallel with Python scripts on the microcontroller to produce a touch-based, 6-key piano Playdoh interface. In addition to Arduino training sessions, students will partake in coding music on Raspberry Pi, using Kid Ruby programming language on Sonic Pi, a programmable music synthesizer. Additionally, students will work with Python scripts to interact with Minecraft application on the Raspberry Pi, known as Minecraft Pi, to create or manipulate objects such as blocks, pyramids or castles. Coding Olympics team challenge will be held at the end of the coding practice to captivate student excitement in coding, problem solving and project management. Join Cyber Camp and Coding Olympics for summer sizzling fun in cybersecurity, coding, virtual reality, prize drawings, and much more!

Download: CyberCamp Flyer pdf

 

picofwill 2Outside of promoting a healthy lifestyle, Diaz is also developing self-paced CyberPatriot training designed for students who are not able to attend in-person training sessions. He’s using Moodle and GoToMeeting to deliver online training sessions that can be viewed in real-time and are recorded for later use.

Diaz said moving away from location-bound training is critical for bringing cyber competitions to underserved communities, where family schedules and obligations often lead to inconsistent attendance at scheduled training sessions and events. Read more

The trophy will remain on display at the mayor’s office until next year’s competition as a way to spread awareness about cybersecurity education.

Allen Stubblefield, coach of Troy’s cyber defense teams and the 2016 CyberPatriot coach of the year, commented, “These students are the future defenders of our digital world. They are serious about pursuing degrees in cybersecurity and joining the cyber defense work force with the government, military or business. They are so eager to learn new cyber information every day and their enthusiasm is so contagious.”

There is a strong demand for cybersecurity professionals throughout California, and partnerships are crucial to meeting that demand. As a step toward that goal, the California Cyberhub brought together stakeholders from business, government and education for California Mayors Cyber Cup Challenge events throughout the state.

Cybersecurity education is a growing movement and one that everyone can join. Students, teachers, parents and community members do not need to have any previous technical experience or cybersecurity knowledge to get involved in a cyber competition.

Steve Linthicum, Information Communication Technologies-Digital Media Deputy Sector Navigator in the Orange County Region, said cyber competitions provide an important step on the pathway toward high-paying jobs across Orange County and throughout California.

“Cyber competitions like the California Mayors Cyber Cup Challenge and the CyberPatriot that are supported by the Orange County community colleges are designed to showcase student pathways in high wage, high demand technical education programs like cybersecurity, enabling students to enter a career field that supports the needs of businesses and industries in our County,” Linthicum said.

Cyber competitors come from all walks of life and represent the best and brightest of what California has to offer. Daunting cybersecurity challenges face our communities and businesses, but students across California are receiving the training necessary to conquer them.

Much like the students collaborated on their cyber challenges, these groups are working together to ensure that students from all backgrounds have access to the tools that will prepare them to fill the demand for cybersecurity workers in California.

Keith Tresh, commander of the California Cybersecurity Integration Center in the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, said he was impressed by the students he saw at the competition and that the need for well-trained cybersecurity professionals has never been greater.

“It’s really cool to see that this generation is looking at this kind of work and excelling at it,” Tresh said. “Cybersecurity is an insurance policy, and people are now realizing that if you don’t have that insurance policy in place, it can have a dramatic impact on a company.”

The California Cyberhub is promoting participation in camps and new coach training being held throughout the summer to build on the energy generated at the California Mayors Cyber Cup Challenge and bring cybersecurity education to even more students across the state.

Attending a camp or workshop is a great way to learn more about cybersecurity and the path toward a steady, high-paying job in California. We welcome all students at our events and are eager to partner with community organizations to increase access to these programs. For more information, visit https://cyber-guild.org/cyber-camps.

About the California Cyberhub

The California Cyberhub is a virtual, neutral, nimble online organization that is a collaboration of public higher education, K-12, government, business, and military working to enable a future workforce of ethical cybersecurity experts in California. Their mission is to enable a future ethical workforce by expanding and supporting quality cyber training across the State with a one-stop source for best practices and resources gathered from all cyber training and competition activities in California.

About Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy – Strong Workforce Program

Doing What MATTERS for jobs and the economy is a four-pronged framework to respond to the call of our nation, state, and regions to close the skills gap. The four prongs are: Give Priority for Jobs and the Economy » Make Room for Jobs and the Economy » Promote Student Success » Innovate for Jobs and the Economy.

The goals of Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy are to supply in-demand skills for employers, create relevant career pathways and stackable credentials, promote student success, and get Californians into open jobs.

About the California Cybersecurity Integration Center (Cal-CSIC)

The California Cybersecurity Integration Center was created in 2015 to reduce the likelihood and severity of cyber attacks, improve inter-agency and cross-sector collaboration, prioritize cyber threats and alert potential victims, and strengthen the state’s cybersecurity strategy.
The Cal-CSIC is made up of four core partners, including the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, the California Department of Technology, the California Military Department, and the California Highway Patrol.

Mayors1Troy High School students present the Cyber Cup trophy to Fullerton Mayor Doug Chaffee. Pictured left to right: Kanin Liang, Jennifer Ho, Mayor Doug Chaffee, Jino Sirivatanarat, Charissa Kim, Brandon Shin, Ha Young Kong, Silas Shen. Not visible are Jared Flores, David Lee, Minh Khoa Nguyen and Nicole Wong.

West founded CodeSLO in 2014 after realizing late in his college career that he was interested in programming, and needed to essentially teach himself some of the basics. Since its creation, the community school has taught more than 650 residents.

West and his fellow CodeSLO mentors will teach the basics of web development, including HTML, CSS and JavaScript to Ticket Into Tech apprentices before they move on to the full apprenticeship program. The pre-bootcamp costs $399, which will be reimbursed to all students who pass the final test.

Not all potential apprentices will be required to take the coding introduction: Those interested in the IT pathway instead do a free four-week pre-apprenticeship course that teaches introductory computer skills.

At the end of the pre-apprenticeship/introductory course phase, all pathways will narrow their cohorts to between 15 and 20 people. From there, they’ll go on to the next level of training, with IT and software testing techs eventually getting their certifications and software engineering apprentices moving on to the coding boot camp.

Classes for those in the IT and software testing techs pathways are free, with the chance for students to get $500 if they pass their certifications.

Once they’ve completed their training, successful applicants in all of the tracks are matched with local tech companies like Mindbody, Clever Ducks and CIO Solutions to begin one year of paid, on-the-job training.

Madeline Gorge, one of the IT pathway apprentices in 2017, is currently working as a service technician at CIO Solutions (previously TekTegrity) thanks to the program.

Before she applied, Gorge was a computer science student at Cuesta College, struggling to find ways to support herself.

“It’s not too good to be true,” Gorge said. “I remember where I was a year ago: I was going to school full-time, working minimum-wage jobs, also full-time, and just scouring the internet for any kind of tech job, and they just were non-existent. But now, it’s just great. I feel like I’m exactly where I want to be.”

Coding bootcamp

Beside the CodeSLO pre-coding bootcamp, this year’s program will also partner with the Fullstack Academy for its software engineering training.

FullStack is the top-ranked coding bootcamp in the country, according to a SLO Partners news release, with bootcamps in New York City and Chicago. Its graduates have gone on to work at major tech companies like Amazon, Google and Facebook.

The San Luis Obispo bootcamp will be the first time the company has expanded to the West Coast, Weeks said.

“The reason is apprenticeship,” he said. “They really want a model that is on the West Coast, and they realized what we did was special, and they said, ‘If you can do that for technician-level positions, you can also do it for engineer-level positions.'”

The academy track is a little different from Ticket Into Tech’s previous free iteration: Students on this pathway must pay $17,610 for a 17-week course through next year. For comparison, the average cost of attending Cal Poly for one year as an undergraduate student is $28,143.

To help pay for the training, SLO Partners is offering two full, and two half-tuition scholarships to recent graduates of San Luis Obispo County high schools. It will also offer one full and two half-tuition scholarships to women. Loans will also be available to help pay tuition.

How to apply

SLO Partners will host two information sessions at the SLO Hothouse (872 Higuera St.) for those interested in the program on June 5 and 6. Both begin at 6:30 p.m. and will feature representatives of the program to answer questions about the application and apprenticeship process.

To apply, go to slopartners.org/ticket-into-tech/. Applicants are also required to take a free, 10-hour online course and complete an entrance exam.

SLO1SLO Partners launched its inaugural Ticket Into Tech in 2017. The first class of apprentices graduated from the training program and went on to jobs in local tech companies. Kaytlyn Leslie [email protected]