WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and the Senate Cybersecurity Caucus, announced that The American Legion, Intel Corporation, ITI, CompTIA, and BSA The Software Alliance are new endorsers of her JROTC Cyber Training Act, bipartisan legislation that would direct the Secretary of Defense to carry out a program to enhance the preparation of cadets in the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) for careers in computer science and cybersecurity.

“I’m proud to see so many organizations and businesses stepping up to support my bipartisan legislation that will invest in the training of our future servicemembers, and increase our cybersecurity capabilities,” said Senator Rosen. “In today’s climate, strengthening our cybersecurity defenses is critical, and this bipartisan legislation will enable JROTC cadets to be best prepared to address future cyber-threats.”

“Preparing JROTC cadets to enter the field of cybersecurity is vital to ensuring the protection of the United States from cyber and other electronic attacks,” said American Legion National Commander James W. “Bill” Oxford. “We are proud to support this legislation which will best prepare our nation to meet the growing threat of cyber-attacks.”

“In our rapidly advancing economy, developing a workforce of individuals trained in computer science and cybersecurity is critical for U.S. businesses and our country as a whole,” said Lisa Malloy, Head of U.S. Government Affairs for Intel Corporation. “The JROTC serves as a leadership pipeline to the military and a potential talent pool for industry. This legislation will strengthen students’ skills in cybersecurity, and help prepare them for a successful future.”

“In today’s increasingly digital world, it is more important than ever for students to have access to lessons and training in computer science and cybersecurity early on,” said Jason Oxman, President and CEO of the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI). “The JROTC Cyber Training Act will help to prepare the next generation of workers to fill needed positions both in government and within the world’s most innovative companies. We urge Congress to quickly consider this bill for passage and thank Senator Rosen and Senator Blackburn for their leadership on this issue.”

“CompTIA is thrilled to support the JROTC Cyber Training Act. At a time when there are nearly half a million cybersecurity job openings across the country, Washington should be doing everything it can to create more pathways into these careers,” said Cinnamon Rogers, Executive Vice President of Advocacy, CompTIA. “Our nation’s security and economy depend on them. This bill not only helps students in JROTC acquire the technical skills today’s marketplace demands, but also helps to provide them with the interpersonal skills needed to succeed by offering mentorships and internships.”

“BSA commends Senators Jacky Rosen and Marsha Blackburn for their leadership in introducing the bipartisan JROTC Cyber Training Act and urges Congress to pass this legislation in the FY2020 NDAA,” said Aaron Cooper, Vice President of Global Policy, BSA The Software Alliance. “This important legislation will provide resources to train JROTC students in critical fields like cybersecurity and computer science to better address growing threats to US national security.”

BACKGROUND: By 2026, the Department of Labor projects there will be 3.5 million computing-related jobs, yet our current education pipeline will only fill 19% of those openings.

The bipartisan JROTC Cyber Training Act would direct the Secretary of Defense to carry out a program to enhance the preparation of high school students in JROTC for military and civilian careers in computer science and cybersecurity. This bill tasks the Secretary of Defense to create activities such as: targeted internships and cooperative research opportunities, as well as funding for training with emphasis on computer science and cybersecurity education.

This bill has the potential to bring evidence-based computer science and cybersecurity education to 500,000 students at 3,400 JROTC high schools across the U.S.

This legislation has already been endorsed by national computer science education organizations including AnitaB.org, Code.org, the College Board, Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA), CSforALL, the National Girls Collaborative Project, and the National Center for Women & IT (NCWIT). 

There are 35 high schools in Nevada with JROTC programs, with over 3,000 student members.

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