AUGUSTA, Ga. – The Augusta Economic Development Authority has received a nearly $9 million federal grant to create a pipeline of veterans and military spouses to fill key IT and cybersecurity roles at area businesses.
The U.S. Department of Labor funds will govern the Georgia Cyber Center WorkForces project, which will place about 1,000 transitioning service members, veterans and military spouses in training for industry certifications. The training, transition services and mentorship are meant to enhance their readiness for civilian occupations, the authority said in a news release.
Participants will be matched with businesses to keep developing skills through on-the-job training, apprenticeships or internships leading to full-time employment. Businesses that hire participants will be eligible for wage reimbursement to assist with training. “This is a tremendous opportunity to directly impact our region and the lives of the transitioning service members and military spouses,” said Steven Kendrick, chairman of the authority.
Citing the approximately 1,000 service members leaving the military at Fort Gordon each year and the spouses of more than 30,000 employees at Fort Gordon, he said: “We foresee this having a tremendous and positive impact on our emerging and growing IT and cybersecurity industry.” The grant money — part of $145 million awarded to 19 organizations nationally — will help form public-private partnerships between local industry, education and training providers, the workforce system, and state and local governments.
The funds were announced just days after news broke that a nonprofit at the Cyber Center got $250,000 from the state to start an entrepreneurs program. The group known as The Clubhouse will train hundreds of people, and it will help create up to 800 jobs across the state.
WorkForces partners include the Georgia Cyber Center, CSRA Alliance for Fort Gordon, CSRA Regional Commission/WorkSource CSRA, WorkSource East Center Georgia and ICF Inc. Georgia Cyber Center WorkForces industry partners include Augusta University, Unisys, SofTact Solutions, MOSAIC Technologies Group and Security Onion Solutions.