In my last blog “CIO: Chief Influence Officer“, I discussed how transformational CIOs set direction and influence their teams to foster collaboration and change. Today, I hope to inspire CIOs to drive change in their external communities by sharing one of Delaware’s efforts in promoting cyber security education and career cultivation.
One area where CIOs can drive workforce development and job growth is to promote the need for additional trained resources in the cyber security field. Whether it is customer information held by retailers or personal data held by area banks, we increasingly rely on a skilled cyber workforce to protect our customers and our economy. Coincidentally, hundreds of unfilled jobs in this sector exist in Delaware today.
I think it is extremely important to encourage our direct reports to drive leadership and change in their external communities. Our CSO Elayne Starkey is an avid cyber safety ambassador, and through her enthusiasm, she has created partnerships with our educational institutions, local governments, business leaders and nationally recognized cyber education and training programs.
We collaborated recently with JPMorgan Chase in sponsoring the Delaware Cyber Aces program, which provides a great model for how our alliance with the business community and higher education can help Delawareans develop the skills needed to transform their lives and strengthen their communities. This online education and job skills training program provided a series of free tutorials and assessments, and it was open to all Delawareans.
We assembled an elite group of students, veterans and job seekers from across the state to compete in The Governor’s Cyber Aces State Championship. The participants tested their digital know-how in a defense simulation called “NetWars.” This is the same hands-on simulation used by the U.S. military to train its officers in network warfare. The 35 participants were top performers in the online series of Cyber Aces tutorials and quizzes, which were completed by 565 people in Delaware and more than 10,000 people nationwide.
It’s no surprise that Delaware was picked as one of the six states to participate in Cyber Aces. We have the foundation for a thriving technology-based economy. In 2012, the National Science Foundation rated Delaware as the top state for high-tech businesses for having the highest percentage of companies that are part of a high-technology industry.
This is just one example of how Delaware’s CIO and CSO worked together with private employers, community partners, universities, other governments, schools and community members – guaranteeing our workforce will be better prepared to meet the ever-changing cyber security needs of our business community and our citizens.
Share your example of how you and your direct reports have driven change in your external communities. What are some ways in which private companies can do what those in government have? Click here to find out more upcoming dates and locations for the Cyber Aces State Championship. All photos courtesy of James Jones at J. Jones Photography