In a meeting of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee today, Representative Derek Kilmer's first amendment in Congress was considered and adopted on a bipartisan basis. The amendment concerns the "Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2013" which addresses efforts to research and address the United States' cybersecurity. The "Cybersecurity Enhancement Act" would also seek to increase the capacity of the higher education system to produce an information technology workforce with skills that can enhance the United States' communications and information infrastructure.
Representative Kilmer's amendment would make sure colleges and universities have the tools they need to graduate the high tech workforce required to keep America safe from online threats by requiring the National Science Foundation to evaluate cybersecurity courses and degree programs. It also leverages private sector investment and expertise by supporting the establishment of public-private partnerships that will allow students to gain critical real world experience while earning their degrees.
"It is our duty to prepare America's students for the jobs of tomorrow. I recently had the opportunity to visit the University of Washington-Tacoma and learn more about what they are doing to produce an information technology workforce that can protect and enhance our nation's communications and information infrastructure. We need to support the colleges and universities in our region that are doing this important work," said Representative Derek Kilmer. "With collaboration between colleges and universities and industry, our students can develop the qualifications and skills necessary to ensure America's national security and economic prosperity. I believe my amendment will help establish the framework to encourage students to seek a cybersecurity education and will allow institutions in our region to produce highly effective cyber professionals to join America's future workforce."
Representative Kilmer's amendment was adopted. The Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2013 will likely come to the House floor for a vote in April.
Representative Kilmer spoke on this theme earlier this week in the House Armed Services Committee. At an Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee hearing dealing with information technology and support for the nation's future workforce, Representative Kilmer noted that he wants to make sure lawmakers are doing everything they can to create a 21st century workforce for the federal government and the private sector. You can watch the video of the Hearing here (Skip to 34:00 to see Representative Kilmer speak).