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White House Unveils Strategy to Help Agencies Recruit, Retain Cyber Professionals

cybersecurityThe White House has introduced a strategy that outlines four initiatives designed to help federal agencies recruit, retain, develop and expand the number of professionals that work to protect government networks from cyber threats.

A White House blog post published Tuesday says the Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Strategy was released as part of the Cybersecurity National Action Plan that President Barack Obama issued in February.

Shaun Donovan, director of the Office of Management and Budget, co-wrote the post with Beth Cobert, acting director of the Office of Personnel Management; Federal Chief Information Officer Tony Scott; and Michael Daniel, special assistant to the president and cybersecurity coordinator.

The initiative to expand the pipeline of cybersecurity professionals through training and education includes a plan to invest $62 million in fiscal year 2017 funds in various efforts, such as the CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service program, development of cyber core curriculum guidance and assistance to academic institutions to retain professors through program development grants.

Other programs include the plan to recruit cyber talent into the federal government through outreach efforts to a diverse pool of cyber workforce and partnerships with agencies to help streamline recruitment practices as well as build up employee retention initiatives through development of career paths and an orientation program that focuses on cybersecurity.

The strategy also calls for federal agencies to identify and understand the needs and gaps within the cybersecurity workforce through the adoption of the National Cybersecurity Workforce Framework.

The federal government plans to recruit 3,500 additional information technology and cybersecurity professionals by January 2017 in addition to 3,000 employees hired in the first half of fiscal year 2016, according to the blog post.

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