New cybersecurity hub will focus on developing tech workforce

On March 20, creative minds and influencers in the tech and innovation sector will descend on Phoenix for the third-annual AZ Tech Innovation Summit held in Downtown Phoenix. The focus will be on the gains the state has made in everything from startups to expansion efforts to the highly successful Fintech Sandbox that kicked off last year. Mark Cuban of Shark Tank fame will be the keynote speaker and is expected to share a rosy picture around job creation in the tech sector in Arizona.

As more tech jobs come into the state, companies need a ready-to-work labor force with the right skills. A solution to educate those who need a little help learning things like computer software or coding or cybersecurity has sprouted with a collaboration between Cybint Solutions, a tech education system, and Skaled Sandbox. The two have joined forces to provide the right education resources for workers in the tech field who want to gain more expertise.

Cybint and Skaled have just announced a think tank of sorts, a tech education hub called the Phoenix Cyber Center, which aims to serve the Phoenix area’s growing tech workforce as a hub and ecosystem for thought leadership and cyber education. Skaled’s downtown Phoenix location will be the location of the tech sandbox, and it is set to open later this spring.

“Partnering with Cybint was an easy choice. The company brings the world-class Israel cyber technology, and adding it to our ecosystem provides a powerful resource to deploy in the state of Arizona. Skaled Sandbox is a turnkey solutions company, with the ability to monitor cyber threats, educate at the highest level, secure data utilizing military-grade technology, as well as offer disaster mitigation and recovery solutions,” said Kyle Kummerle, Skaled Sandbox Partner, in a statement. “We are extremely excited for the ability to create sustainable jobs for the state of Arizona.”

The partnership has gained support from entities such as Tel-Aviv University Cyber Range and the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services. Classes in the program range from cyber literacy to more advanced opportunities in the cybersecurity sector.

Cybint provides training and learning solutions in the cybersecurity and intelligence fields and partners with local businesses and education systems to boost expertise in cybersecurity. The partnership has come at an opportune time around events like the AZ Tech Innovation Summit and Phoenix Startup Week, but also in terms of the state’s economy and jobs outlook.

“We’re excited at the opportunities we see in the startup and entrepreneurial landscape, and our partnership with Skaled Sandbox,” said Roy Zur, Cybint Solutions CEO, in a statement. “There’s great awareness within this space of the need for cyber knowledge and expertise, and with Skaled Sandbox I believe we can make a difference, setting fledgling businesses up for success and continuing to further our mission of closing the skills gap in the cyber world.”

Nearly 11,000 jobs were created in the technology field in Arizona between 2015 and 2017, and the industry is expected to continue growing. The sector supports more than 240,000 jobs currently with an estimated contribution of $28.5 billion to the state’s economy. The Cyber Center will act as a development opportunity for those who want to take advantage of that growth.

Nick Esquer

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