Senators Maggie Hassan D-N.H. and John Cornyn R-Texas, have introduced the  Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Expansion Act which aims to help strengthen U.S. cyber defenses and bolster the Federal government’s cyber workforce.

“Our national cybersecurity infrastructure is woefully lacking, as evidenced by the SolarWinds breach,” Sen. Hassan said in a statement. “To bolster our cyber defenses and protect our critical infrastructure, we need to increase the number of cybersecurity professionals in the federal government.”

The Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Expansion Act was introduced after months of escalating cyberattacks aimed at critical U.S. organizations, like the SolarWinds hack that compromised nine Federal agencies and 100 private sector groups in 2020.

The bill would establish a cybersecurity registered apprenticeship program in the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and a pilot program within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to give cybersecurity training to veterans.

According to Sen. Cornyn, cyber threats are evolving every day, and the Federal government must have a workforce prepared to respond to these threats.

“By harnessing the experience of our veterans and creating more opportunities for hands-on learning, this legislation would help ensure we are ready to fend off cyberattacks from our adversaries,” he said.

Additionally, the bill would help address workforce challenges in the veteran community through the cyber-training program at the VA, and help veterans secure good-paying and stable jobs, the sponsors said.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.