MxD has announced a workforce development program for cybersecurity in manufacturing, underwritten with a $1.25 million grant from the Siemens Foundation. The grant will fund the development and implementation of a highly-skilled cybersecurity for manufacturing initiative as part of MxD’s workforce strategy known as MxD Learn.
With an increasing number of cyber threats to operations, manufacturers in the United States – 98 percent of which are small and medium-sized – need qualified workers to protect against cyber-attacks as they aim to stay competitive and invest in modern technologies to digitize operations. Yet two-thirds of respondents in a 2017 Global Information Security Workforce study said they lack the cybersecurity professionals needed.
MxD Learn’s comprehensive strategy will develop a clear taxonomy of high-demand cybersecurity for manufacturing jobs and skills, develop curriculum and training partnerships, and provide hands-on training through apprenticeships.
A portion of the grant will support a digital manufacturing laboratory at Waukegan High School, a Title 1 school in metro Chicago, where MxD has previously supported curriculum development.
“Career and technical education in high school and beyond is essential to addressing the growing manufacturing skills gap in the United States,” said Chandra Brown, CEO of MxD. “This effort will help cultivate the skill set needed for the factory of the future—where data science and programming are as much a part of day-to-day activities as welding and machining.”
MxD Learn will also forge connections among the high school programs, area apprenticeships, community colleges, and industry partners to develop models that can be used by others in the field.
MxD Learn will kick off in fall 2019, with initial activities planned over three years as part of the Siemens Foundation’s SPARKS initiative, which supports STEM training programs for advanced manufacturing and other industries.