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St. Paul , Virginia
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July 28, 2016     Clinch Valley Times
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CLINCH VALLEY TIMES St. Paul, Va. Thursday, July 28, 2016 Page 7 Partnership to create cybersecurity employment and education ! opportunities in Southwest Virginia i ~ New agreement between MACH37 Cyber Accelerator parties to design an enhanced cyber curriculum to help Accelerator, we create a beneficial collaborative effort.! and UVa-Wise will strengthen cyber industry in guide the region's educational and cybersecurity employ- that will help us to hone our cyber curriculum, better pre- Southwest Virginia ~ ment efforts, pare our students for careers in this critical industry arid "The value that this agreement will be able to provide showcase UVa-Wise's commitment to the community we Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that the is two-fold. UVa-Wise has a growing pipeline of well- serve," said UVa-Wise Chancellor Donna Henry. University of Virginia's College at Wise and the educated technology students who will be joining the Founded by the Center for Innovative Technology MACH37 Cyber Accelerator at the Center for Innovative workforce over the next few years. This relationship with ' (CIT), the MACH37 Cyber Accelerator has launched 35 Technology (CIT) have agreed to a Memorandum ofthe Accelerator will provide them with a stream of intern- innovative cybersecurity product companies in Virginia Understanding (MOU) that will strengthen the cybersecu- ship and employment opportunities with companies in since 2013. The Accelerator runs an intense 90-day pro- rity industry and create new cyber jobs, internships, and MACH37's growing portfolio," said Secretary of gram, twice a year, in which competitively selected star, educational programs in the Southwest Virginia region. Technology Karen Jackson. "The agreement will also pro- tups are coached in all aspects of creating a successful and "Virginia is one of the premier locations in the world vide MACH37 with access to the University's outstanding sustainable business. Upon the completion of each ses i for cybersecurity innovation," said Govemor McAuliffe. research expertise and will allow both sides to leverage sion, the startups participate in a Demo Day when they "As the industry continues to expand, we will look across each other's valuable stakeholder relationships." pitch to a crowd of external mentors, investors and indus- the Commonwealth to use all of our assets to cultivate "We see this strategic partnership with UVa-Wise as a try experts. information security industry growth here in Virginia. perfect way to blend together the strengths of both orga- The University of Virginia's College at Wise is a pub i, Southwest Virginia has a unique industry ecosystem with nizations. The Southwestern region will provide our port- lic, four-year residential liberal arts college located advanced technological assets, excellent cybersecurity folio companies with an ideal pool and location for work- Southwest Virginia. As a COPLAC member institution researchers and a pipeline Of new technical talent from force candidates and research expertise. We will be able to UVa-Wise is nationally-accredited and has been national i Virginia's universities. This MOU will strengthen the provide guidance on how to continually strengthen the ly,ranked among top public liberal arts colleges in the region's ties to the MACH37 Accelerator's network and region's growing cybersecurity industry and UVA-Wise's U.S. It has the only undergraduate software engineering will propel the region's cybersecurity industry forward." education programs," said Center for Innovativeprogram in Virginia and ranks second in the nation for The process that resulted in this MOU was initiated by Technology CEO Ed Albrigo. public liberal arts colleges that raduate students with the the McAuliffe administration through Virginia Secretary "By aligning our university with the MACH37 lowest debt. of Technology Karen Jackson, who connected the two New award to Virginia Space Grant Consortium supports community college partnerships to develop the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) workforce The Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC) is lead- needed to succeed as a UAS operations technician will be and Thomas Nelson and support these faculty to develop ing a statewide partnership to develop the Unmanned among the first products of the project and will inform the academic pathways in UAS to serve as models for other Aircraft Systems (UAS) Workforce in Virginia by creating future work of the team. community colleges. GeoTEd-UAS will also provide pro- career pathways at Virginia's community colleges. VSGC Director Mary Sandy notes, "We have assem- fessional development and mentoring to faculty from VSGC, Virginia Community College System (VCCS), bled an experienced and dedicated team of faculty and other colleges in Virginia through a UAS Faculty Institute Thomas Nelson Community College (Thomas Nelson),partners to prepare the UAS workforce. VSGC has been hosted by Virginia Tech. Faculty will develop skills and Mountain Empire Community College (Mountain active in UAS education and is keenly aware of the future competencies in the technologies of geographic informa- Empire), and Virginia Tech are partnering on thedemand for UAS operations technicians and the impact of tion systems (GIS) and remote sensing that are crucial to Geospatial Technician Education-Unmanned Aircraft this technology on Virginia's economy." analyzing and interpreting data. Systems (GeoTEd-UAS) project. GeoTEd-UAS will pre- According to VCCS Chancellor Glenn DuBois, "The The project will offer UAS-themed activities for prec- pare students for success as UAS operations technicians VCCS looks forward to partnering with VSGC and the ollege students in the service regions of the two partner- who will plan and fly UAS missions and analyze geospa- GeoTEd-UAS team to prepare the UAS workforce. The ing colleges to increase interest And grow the UAS work2 tial data to solve problems and answer questions, faculty and leadership at Thomas Nelson and Mountain force pipeline. Thomas Nelson and Mountain Empire will" Explosive growth and innovation in UAS technology Empire are well poised to develop model courses and aca- also receive funds to support scholarships for students and integration will create new UAS jobs and a demand demic pathways that will benefit all of the community col- taking classes toward completion of the UAS pathways. for a trained workforce in this emerging sector. Virginia's leges in the commonwealth." Industry advisor Peter Bale, CEO of Sentinel Robotic Community Colleges working with the VSGC and other Also known as drones, UAS can be ,used to collect Solutions, states, "The faculty professional developmenli partners are well-positioned to prepare the future UAS data-on-demand and replace larger aircraft and other and mentoring provided by the GeoTEd-UAS project are workforce thanks to a new award of $899,847 from the means that were previously used to collect data and vital to preparing the UAS workforce of the future. Tile National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced imagery. UAS, especially small UAS (sUAS) which are project will provide employer-driven training that aligns Technological Education (NSF-ATE) program, under 55 lbs., can be a cost-effective means of collecting with current industry needs, and then the team mentors The GeoTEd-UAS team is also partnering with private data to support analysis and decision making, and supports the faculty to ensure successful integration and public sector business and industry in the With a focus on sUAS, the GeoTEd-UAS project will into the classroom. It is an exciting time to be working Commonwealth, including NASA, to support and advise build college and faculty capacity at Mountain Empire UAS." the project. An assessment of the knowledge and skills Buy, sell, noafy, employ, through... ! We are pledged'to the letter and spirit of Virginia's and HUD's equal opportunity hous- ing policies. 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