With workforce in mind, bipartisan bill proposes incentives for cybersecurity education, and more

The HACKED Act is the work of the top Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Commerce Committee.

The HACKED Act is actually about making sure people don’t get hacked.

The bipartisan bill — with the full title “The Harvesting American Cybersecurity Knowledge through Education Act” — was introduced Tuesday by four senators who say it would boost cybersecurity education and expand workforce training. The legislation comes as the Trump administration, Congress and industry have all taken steps to boost the cybersecurity workforce through training, recruitment and retention.

“America is facing serious cyberthreats every day in today’s increasingly connected world, yet there is a serious shortage of workers needed to confront this urgent challenge,” Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., one of the cosponsors and the Commerce Committee’s ranking member, said in a statement. “The bipartisan HACKED Act of 2019 would help address this by training cybersecurity educators and skilling American workers to do these jobs, as well as increasing coordination on these issues throughout the government.”

The bill includes proposals to incentivize recruitment of cybersecurity educators, authorizing up to $200,000 for regional alliances and partnerships for cybersecurity education. The act would also zero in on partnerships with local employers and universities on cybersecurity education and cybersecurity workforce issues.


The proposed legislation includes measures that would boost cybersecurity and science education programs at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the Department of Transportation, for example.

The group of lawmakers also propose creating a new White House-level working group through the Office of Science and Technology Policy to boost coordination of federal cybersecurity education and workforce programs.

Other senators behind the bill include Commerce Committee Chairman Roger Wicker, R-Miss., John Thune, R-S.D., and Jacky Rosen, D-Nev.

Shannon Vavra

Written by Shannon Vavra

Shannon Vavra covers the NSA, Cyber Command, espionage, and cyber-operations for CyberScoop. She previously worked at Axios as a news reporter, covering breaking political news, foreign policy, and cybersecurity. She has appeared on live national television and radio to discuss her reporting, including on MSNBC, Fox News, Fox Business, CBS, Al Jazeera, NPR, WTOP, as well as on podcasts including Motherboard’s CYBER and The CyberWire’s Caveat. Shannon hails from Chicago and received her bachelor’s degree from Tufts University.

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