AUGUSTA, Ga. (WFXG) - A bill aims to fund cybersecurity education and job opportunities at HBCUs across the country. If passed, it would reach the CSRA through Paine College. The legislation is authored by Georgia U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff.

It’s a mission growing among industry, academia and government leaders.

“We’ve got to strengthen America’s cybersecurity.” said Sen. Jon Ossoff.

Sen. Ossoff hopes to help accomplish that through the Cybersecurity Opportunity Act. He feels it could help bring a wider variety of talent to the field.

“This is going to strengthen our cybersecurity work force. It’s going to make sure that work force is diverse by ensuring that historically Black colleges and universities have the resources they need to build strong cyber security programs.” said Sen. Ossoff.

Those dollars would reach from the nation’s capital all the way down to the CSRA. The president of Paine College says she’s looking forward to it.

“It’s an exciting time for me. It means that Senator Ossoff and his colleagues recognize the talent and diversity available at HBCUs. I'm certainly happy that Paine College would be a beneficiary of funds of the grant.” said Cheryl Evans Jones.

The bill requires 50% of funds for HBCUs and minority serving institutions. The remaining portion would go to other public colleges and universities who serve large populations of students receiving financial aid. 

For Paine College and many other schools, that means expansion.

“I think we would be able to strengthen the programs we have, provide greater opportunities for our students. I would hope that there would be funds so that we can improve infrastructure and hire more faculty in that area, and maybe even provide scholarships for some students. Certainly whatever the guidelines are, we will follow them.” said Evans Jones.

You can read more about the guidelines so far in the bill provided below.


Cheryl Evans Jones also feels the CSRA could also see long term benefits from the move.

“As you think about cybersecurity, I think everybody is aware of what’s going on in Augusta, with Fort Gordon and the Cyber Center and everything, so it’s just a natural fit for me that Paine College would have funds to enhance what we’re doing.”

The bill passed the key US Senate Homeland Security Committee in August. Senator Ossoff says the bill now moves to final passage on the senate floor. Until then, Paine College awaits more information regarding the amount of funding they may receive. Stick with FOX54 for updates.

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