Massachusetts’ Springfield Technical Community College will receive $3 million in Federal funding to establish a new Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (CCE).

The funding was made possible through Congressionally Direct Spending (CDS) from the Department of Education, according to a press release from Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass. Rep. Neal’s office said that he included funding for this project in the Federal government’s Fiscal Year 2023 spending bill that was signed into law by President Biden on Dec. 29, 2022.

“The threats facing our nation at both the national and local level are significant, and having the cutting-edge technology capable of countering these threats is of the utmost importance,” said Rep. Neal.

“Union Station has become a world-class intermodal transportation hub for the Greater Springfield community, and it will now serve as home to a state-of-the-art cybersecurity training center,” the congressman said. “This will give the brightest young minds in our region the resources they need to combat these threats, ultimately expanding the region’s skilled workforce and shoring up the resiliency of our cybersecurity in western Massachusetts and beyond.”

The funding will be used to establish the CCE, which will be developed and operated in collaboration with the MassCyberCenter, and serve as a regional CCE for western Massachusetts.

Rep. Neal’s office said the project brings together a consortia of area higher education institutions, business and civic leaders, and facility professionals. His office added that the CCE will provide “invaluable hands-on training and professional opportunities” for students to develop a cybersecurity career and will be “an integral part of the Massachusetts Cybersecurity Consortium.”

“This center will strengthen cybersecurity resilience in Western MA while empowering our workforce to meet the needs of this evolving industry,” said Amanda Pham, Executive Director of the Springfield Redevelopment Authority. “Western Mass is home to many higher education institutions and we are encouraged by the collaborative partnerships being made – all to better the lives of our students and community at large.”

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