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NIST Awards $3.6 Million in Cooperative Grants to Bolster U.S. Cyber Security Workforce


Applications Open for Next Round of Awards; Submissions due May 24

To foster a workforce armed with essential skills needed to combat cyber risks, the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has awarded cooperative agreements totaling nearly $3.6 million to education and community organizations working to address the country’s shortage of skilled cybersecurity employees. 

Recent research shows that growing cyber threats outpace the cybersecurity workforce, despite the need for organizations to safeguard critical information. NIST research reveals that there were 82 workers available for every 100 open cybersecurity positions in the U.S. between January 2023 and January 2024.

Grants of nearly $200,000 each will go to 18 education and community organizations focused on closing the skills gaps with curriculum development, trainings, and more. The National Initiative for Cyber Security Education (NICE), a partnership between government, academia, and the private sector, will spearhead the cooperative agreement efforts. Launched in 2008, NICE works to advance an integrated ecosystem of cybersecurity education, training, and workforce development.

NIST reports that the organizations receiving the awards will build Regional Alliances and Multistakeholder Partnerships to Stimulate (RAMPS) cybersecurity education and workforce development. RAMPS projects will include education and training at the high school, collegiate, or professional levels, in addition to work-based learning experiences in the form of internships, apprenticeships, or projects. Other initiatives will support workshops, bootcamps, competitions, and hackathons, NIST reports.

“Our economic and national security depend on a highly skilled workforce capable of defending against ever-increasing cyber threats,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST director Laurie E. Locascio. “By investing in our cybersecurity workforce, we are not just filling a critical gap. We are creating a future where Americans have access to the training they need to secure high-quality, good-paying jobs.”

NIST reports that it is currently accepting applications for an additional 15 RAMPS awards of up to $200,000 each. The application deadline is on Friday, May 24, 2024.

Access the list of awardees, and find out more about NIST’s workforce development initiative and the call for more applications, via NIST news.


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Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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