CASPER COMMUNITY CELEBRATES CYBERSECURITY APPRENTICESHIP
CASPER – Representatives of local and state government, businesses, banks, nonprofits, tech firms, and educational institutions will attend a community proclamation signing marking the 86th Anniversary of the National Apprenticeship Act and observation of National Apprenticeship Week Nov. 13-18.
The proclamation signing on Nov. 15 from 4-5:30 p.m., entitled Proclamation, Pizza, and Play, is open to the public and is designed to display the Casper community’s support for apprenticeship in the technical and cybersecurity industry. Members of the public can rsvp to firstname.lastname@example.org to attend, eat dinner, and play games. In 2022, sixty-four people were in attendance in the event hosted by the Science Zone, a popular STEM children’s museum.
The event is organized by CyberWyoming and the Science Zone, with sponsorship for the food and games by Microsoft. CyberWyoming is a nonprofit dedicated to workforce and business education, awareness, and outreach in enhancing cybersecurity in the state. CyberWyoming is the first organization in the region to sponsor a registered cybersecurity apprenticeship program through the U.S. Department of Labor. Food is provided by Old Chicago.
“Make it a no-cook night and join us at the Science Zone. It is a great opportunity to teach your kids about proclamations and science,” said Steven Schnell, Executive Director of the Science Zone.
After the proclamation signing, attendees stay for pizza and to play with either the Science Zone’s coding activities or children’s exhibits or to play the Cyber Threat Defender card game and, with Microsoft’s donation, allow participants to take a deck home with them.
“It’s a fun card game that illustrates real world cyber threats and defenses. It’s geared towards kids but easily entertains adults and helps all players to understand cybersecurity concepts,” said Christy Walker, CyberWyoming Board Director, proclamation signer, and winner of her 2022 table’s Cyber Threat Defender game.
Casper’s support of cybersecurity apprenticeship runs deep. In 2020-2021, a volunteer committee called the Casper Cybersecurity Consortium including Casper College, Wyoming Medical Center/Banner Health, Kelly Walsh High School, the Wyoming Association for CTE, the Cybersecurity Youth Apprenticeship Initiative, Advance Casper, the Casper Chamber of Commerce, Wyoming’s Department of Workforce Services, and CyberWyoming created pre-apprenticeship standards mapped to CyberWyoming’s regionally recognized cybersecurity apprenticeship program. Events like Kelly Walsh High School’s Cyber Patriot challenge are mapped to these pre-apprenticeship standards giving students an advantage when interviewing for summer internships in tech. The committee is still loosely organizing apprenticeship events today.
As part of the committee’s initiatives, Casper College offered a cybersecurity boot camp in August of 2021 and in June CyberWyoming Alliance and Casper College offered a Teens Exploring Careers camp. The 2023 camp encouraged girls to explore their digital world in a career setting, including hands-on experiences in a mock hospital setting and a murder mystery involving the theft of intellectual property. The curriculum is now free to any school across the nation, due to a grant from the Daniels Fund.
Registered apprenticeship is free to any employer and apprentice and provides a nationally recognized structured learning plan to train employees. Graduation certificates are issued by the Department of Labor and nationally recognized.
Laura Baker, CyberWyoming Executive Director, said with the observance of 86th anniversary of the National Apprenticeship Act, the concept of apprenticeship is being transformed to meet our digital world with apprenticeship learning programs for technology and cybersecurity.
“Registered apprenticeship programs enable employers to develop and train their future workforce while offering career seekers pathways to good, quality jobs, and well-paying careers,” Baker said.
She noted that according to Cyberseek.org, Wyoming has 872 job openings in cybersecurity including the titles of IT Manager, Network Engineer, and Systems Analyst, in addition to the standard titles that include the word cybersecurity.
For more information about CyberWyoming’s registered apprenticeship program, contact Laura Baker at infocyberwyoming.org