VACo encourages counties to support $1.5 million in Governor Terry McAuliffe’s introduced budget to establish the Virginia Scholarship for Service Program. Funding is established to offer tuition relief for up to two years of education in a cyber-related field in return for service as a cyber-professional for the state, a county or municipality, university, or other state entity. Time is one for one, e.g. two years of scholarship requires two years of service.
The program is modeled after the federal scholarship for service program – however guidelines will be developed to improve and align the Commonwealth’s program with state specific needs. Funding for Virginia’s counties will enhance access to cyber talent by making counties competitive in recruitment through salaries, opportunities and work environments.
Additionally, counties will have an updated knowledge base (access to students with current knowledge regarding threats and cyber intrusion techniques). Cyber threat is increasing daily and the importance for counties to have cyber-professionals is growing exponentially as the number of public-facing apps tied to personally identifiable citizen information is on the upswing.
Letters of support should be addressed to your respective delegates and senators.
VACo Contact: Dean Lynch, CAE