Challenge brings education, government, industry together to build a strong cybersecurity workforce

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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

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 Cup Back 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)

Riverside2 Pictured: Brett Hile, Arnib Quazi, Ethan Michalak, Hope Gillette, Mason Cleland

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