Last week I had the honor of giving opening remarks at the Virginia Veteran Cyber Training (VVCT) Pilot program orientation. The pilot program aims to equip veterans with the cyber skills needed to fill the 17,000 open cybersecurity jobs in Virginia. To this end, throughout the rest of 2017, the program – part of our collaboration with the Commonwealth of Virginia – will provide free cyber training sessions to veterans and their families.
Palo Alto Networks is working on this important initiative to help veterans in their cyber education journey alongside training partners Onward to Opportunity and Yyotta; the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Virginia Values Veterans program; and industry partners AWS, Cisco, Fortinet and (ISC)². Together, it is our mission to provide veterans with the technical skills and training to pursue a career in cybersecurity, and encourage participants to join this dynamic and growing industry. As part of the pilot, participants have access to six cyber training tracks: cybersecurity operations, security infrastructure, software engineering, operations/technical support, security management, and network security.
At the orientation, two of our own military veterans at Palo Alto Networks – Jay Mackey, Director, Technical Education Delivery, and Mitch Densley, one of our lead technical trainers on the Education Delivery team – provided an overview of the online and in-person courses we’re offering as part of our participation in the pilot. Jay served 20 years in the U.S. Air Force, and Mitch served for 10 years in the U.S. Navy.
As part of the White House’s Joining Forces initiative last year, Palo Alto Networks committed to train 400 veterans and their family members over the next five years. We believe veterans are well-positioned to pursue a career in cyber: their military experience equips them with transferrable skills that can be applied to developing the latest cybersecurity innovations and helping us achieve our mission of maintaining trust in the digital age by preventing successful cyberattacks. As a retired Major General with more than 35 years of service, I am proud to participate in Palo Alto Networks veterans training initiatives. I look forward to connecting with many more veterans and their families who are embarking on a career in cybersecurity and joining us on our mission of breach prevention.
For more information on the VVCT program, please visit: http://cybervets.virginia.gov/.