Virginia receives $1.5 million or small defense business cyber training

Virginia receives $1.5 million or small defense business cyber training

July 23, 2021 0 By Tyler Arnold

Virginia was awarded $1.5 million in federal grant money to provide cyber training for small defense businesses in the commonwealth and to improve the maritime workforce, Gov. Ralph Northam’s office announced.

“Virginia is a leader in the defense industry and the second highest recipient of Defense Department investments among all states,” Northam said in a statement. “Local defense suppliers are critical to present and future military readiness, and this federal funding will help enhance their cyber capabilities while also improving the resiliency of our maritime workforce to meet modernization opportunities.”

More than $1 million will be used to help at least 85 small defense businesses with cybersecurity training and certifications to help them comply with Department of Defense cybersecurity standards. This will be offered through GENEDGE Alliance, which provides services to small businesses through state and federal funding.

The remaining $474,000 will be provided to the Maritime Industrial Base Ecosystem initiative, which is managed by Old Dominion University. These funds will help the initiative improve the shipbuilding and ship repair workforce with sustained maritime training pipelines.

All of the federal money was awarded by the Department of Defense Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation through its industry resilience program.

“Our partnerships with GENEDGE and the Maritime Industrial Base Ecosystem provide services that give our small businesses a competitive edge,” Acting Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs Kathleen Jabs said in a statement. “This federal grant will allow us to increase investment in capabilities for our military and national advantage through innovation, modernization, and collaboration.”

Virginia is one of the largest recipients of defense spending, particularly because of its proximity to Washington, D.C. About 11% of the state gross domestic product is related to defense. The commonwealth ranks third in defense contract spending at $30.5 billion, second in direct defense spending at $60.3 billion and first for personnel defense spending $15.7 billion.

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