UMass and Advanced Cyber Security Center launch Cybersecurity Education and Training Consortium

BOSTON -- The University of Massachusetts and the Advanced Cyber Security Center (ACSC) today announced the creation of the Cybersecurity Education and Training Consortium (CETC), a joint initiative to increase connectivity between academia and the private sector in support of the Commonwealth's cybersecurity efforts.

The CETC will connect higher education leaders with business leaders to promote academic programming in cybersecurity that aligns with the needs of Massachusetts employers. The announcement came as the world's leading cybersecurity experts from business, government and academia gathered at the World Cyber Summit, a two-day, Massachusetts-based event.

Founding members of the CETC, led by the UMass President's Office and the Advanced Cyber Security Center -- a non-profit collaborative of industry, university and government organizations -- include members of the Baker Administration's Workforce Skills Cabinet, including Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash, Secretary of Labor & Workforce Development Rosalin Acosta and Secretary of Education Jim Peyser.

"The UMass system plays an important role in making Massachusetts a leader in innovation and attractive to many of the world's leading companies in emerging industries, like cybersecurity," said Gov. Charlie Baker. "We look forward to our Workforce Skills Cabinet and the recently announced Cybersecurity Growth and Development Center at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative working together with the Cybersecurity Education and Training Consortium to build upon efforts already underway and grow relationships with businesses, colleges and universities, and the public sector to further develop a talented workforce and to expand our cybersecurity ecosystem."

The concept for the consortium grew out of Gov. Baker's December 2016 economic development mission to Israel, when more than 20 presidents and chief executive officers, including UMass President Marty Meehan, explored collaborations to advance the state's role in areas including cybersecurity.

"UMass is proud to take a leadership role in addressing workforce needs in sectors critical to the Commonwealth," said President Meehan. "This consortium will advance our cybersecurity education and workforce development initiatives, better preparing the thousands of UMass students and their counterparts across the Commonwealth who are currently enrolled in cybersecurity-related courses to contribute to this important and rapidly evolving field upon graduation."

"The CETC brings together the best of our regional academic community with our most pro-active businesses to define real solutions for overcoming the cybersecurity workforce development and retention challenges," said Michael Figueroa, executive director of the ACSC. "After over 10 years of building and sustaining a cross-sector cybersecurity collaboration between industry, government, and higher education organizations in New England, the ACSC has established the foundation for defining a career pathway and enrichment model that will help guide the CETC efforts to meet the practical and strategic needs of modern cyber defense. We are looking forward to leveraging our network of local security leaders to help make security careers more attractive and accessible here in Massachusetts."

The CETC will invite participation from all public and private institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth. In addition to providing a framework for collaboration between business and academia, the consortium will identify statewide opportunities for partnerships, best practice exchange and joint funding.

"The partnership between the University of Massachusetts and the Advanced Cyber Security Center will help to address the need for a well-trained cybersecurity workforce -- and will better position the Commonwealth and our region as a global hub for cybersecurity," said Kenneth C. Montgomery, vice chair of the ACSC board of directors and first vice president and chief operating officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

"The new education and training consortium will help drive the development of curriculum in partnership with our top cybersecurity minds here in the Commonwealth," said Tim Connelly, executive director/CEO of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, or MassTech. "From insurance companies such as MassMutual, to retail giants like Wayfair, and the Commonwealth itself, cybersecurity is becoming a growing focus for organizations that manage sensitive data. That demand will only grow and this new learning-focused partnership will help us meet the clear need that exists for trained workers."

About the University of Massachusetts

The University of Massachusetts is a five-campus public research university system renowned for the quality of its academic programs, the scope and excellence of its research, and the strength of its public service mission. UMass provides access to high-quality, affordable education that advances knowledge and improves the lives of the people of the Commonwealth, the nation and the world. Find out more about UMass cybersecurity initiatives here.

About the Advanced Cyber Security Center

The Advanced Cyber Security Center (ACSC), organized and supported by Mass Insight Global Partnerships, is a non-profit and cross-sector regional collaborative that is focused on building a stronger community defense by harnessing the collective resources of its members to solve common cyber security problems. As a leading federally-registered regional Information Sharing and Analysis Organization (ISAO), the ACSC serves as a security community hub that encourages cross-sector collaboration, taps advanced technology solutions, and promotes effective practices to help organizations strengthen their own cyber defense. At the same time, the ACSC deepens the capacity of the broader cyber community by enabling organizations to collectively address common problems, reduce duplicative effort, and establish a new baseline for security across Massachusetts and the New England regional community.