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FCC to Share $2.4 Million Cybersecurity Program Award

Mar 21, 2023

The Fresno City College Business Division will play a major role in the SOFT START: IT-Cybersecurity Workforce Education program with a $2.4 million award from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.  The award creates a new partnership for IT workforce development between Fresno City College, California State University, Fresno and the Fresno County Library to design and launch integrated programs to train both students and residents in low-income anchor communities for high-wage and high-demand IT careers.  The goal is to provide “soft start” training in basic digital skills and digital literacy leading to more advanced cybersecurity courses and higher paying jobs.

“There are many unfilled jobs in the tech sector because finding individuals with stronger foundational technical skills is a real challenge. This program has been designed to reduce barriers that stand between individuals and higher-wage careers,” said Dr. Timothy Woods, Dean of the FCC Business Division.

FCC will be responsible for leading a team of faculty to develop and teach curriculum and materials for SOFT START Boot Camps, Digital Literacy Certificates, and Cyber Technician Specialist Certificates. CSU, Fresno will be developing courses that build upon these foundational skills creating a pathway to further education and/or career employment.

A major component for the initiative will be the creation of Open Educational Resources (OER) to help reduce financial barriers within the program. Courses will be offered within the communities through a partnership with the Fresno County Public Library (FCPL) Liaison.

Permanent career resources will also be offered to support the successful entry into careers of students and residents who complete the certificates. In addition to technical training, participants will also learn how to find specific job opportunities and then put forth a solid application.

“Our goal is to offer no cost training for a wide variety of individuals ranging from little to no computer experience to those who have technical skills but lack key career planning and certificates,” added Dr. Woods.

These certificates will be rolled out in Fall 2024:

(1)        Fresno Soft-Start Digital Skills (Fresno County Library and Fresno City College)
(2)        Digital and Information Literacy (Fresno County Library and Fresno City College)
(3)        Introduction to Digital Literacy (FCC)
             BT 377 Getting Started with Computers and Workplace Technology
             BT 379 Introduction to Microsoft Office Applications
(4)        Cyber Technician (FCC)
             CIT 48a IT+ Fundamentals
             CIT 48b A+ and Security Principles
(5)         Cybersecurity (Basic, Intermediate, Advanced) (CSUF)

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