Rosen, Cassidy Introduce Bipartisan PROTECT Act, Legislation to Support U.S. Cybersecurity Education and Workforce Development

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jacky Rosa (D-NV) and Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) announced their introduction of the PROTECT (Providing Resources for Ongoing Training and Education in Cyber Technologies) Act, bipartisan legislation that would authorize and provide stability to the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity Education and Training Assistance Program (CETAP). CETAP is an existing initiative that provides cybersecurity career awareness, curricular resources, and professional development to elementary and secondary schools across the U.S., including direct, no-cost support to students and educators.

“The current cybersecurity workforce shortage poses a threat to our national security. To meet this challenge and prepare our nation for the economy of the future, we must invest in a robust cybersecurity workforce,” said Senator Rosen. “This bipartisan legislation would codify and strengthen the CETAP program, providing education and career opportunities in cyber and helping to bolster the number of applicants in this critical field. I will continue working to support forward-thinking legislation that prepares our nation for the future and protects our national security.”

“Cybersecurity is national security. Louisiana is on the forefront of providing these services,” said Dr. Cassidy. “Our country must educate and train more professionals to meet the growing job demand so that the United States remains protected against cyber attacks.” 

BACKGROUND: In June, Senator Rosen, alongside Senators Mike Rounds (R-SD), Gary Peters (D-MI), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), introduced the bipartisan PROMOTES Act of 2020 (S. 3900) , legislation that would authorize the Secretary of Defense to carry out a program to enhance the preparation of students in the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) for training and education in STEM fields.

Last year, Senator Rosen introduced the Cyber Ready Workforce Act (S. 1466), legislation that would direct the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to award grants to workforce intermediaries to support the creation, implementation, and expansion of registered apprenticeship programs in cybersecurity. 

Last year, Rosen helped introduced the bipartisan Harvesting American Cybersecurity Knowledge through Education (HACKED) Act (S. 2775), which would expand and coordinate current federal cybersecurity programs and align education and training with cybersecurity workforce needs.

In 2019, Rosen introduced the US-Israel Cybersecurity Center of Excellence Act (S. 2309), bipartisan legislation that would require the State Department to investigate potential benefits of establishing a joint US-Israel cybersecurity center.

Rosen is a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the Senate Cybersecurity Caucus.