Louisa Co. schools to receive $100K to help start cybersecurity program

Louisa Co. schools to receive $100K to help start cybersecurity program

LOUISA COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) - Louisa County Public Schools will receive $100,000 after becoming one of five finalists in the U.S. Department of Education’s Rural Tech Project.

The project is an effort to “advance technology education, support rural educators, and prepare students for the careers of today and tomorrow.”

LCPS was selected for its plan to create a cybersecurity program that will launch for the 2021-2022 school year. The $100,000 will go towards developing the program.

“The goal of the cybersecurity program will be to prepare students to enter the workforce with industry credentials upon graduation or to attend a postsecondary program,” a release said.

“We targeted cybersecurity because when you look at the workforce data, you can see it’s one of the fastest-growing needs for the workforce in not only the commonwealth and also the country,” Director of STEM Innovations Kenneth Bouwens said.

Students can choose a two-year or four-year pace for the program and will select final-semester coursework that targets specific industry pathways

”Everybody is seeking a cyber-workforce that can help them protect their equipment and software packaging so this going to be a broad spectrum of how we’ll be able to place students in jobs,” Director of CTE Workforce Development, Bo Bundrick said.

“As Louisa County Public Schools, we take tremendous pride in preparing our students for the competitive, global, 21st-century workforce,” LCPS Superintendent Doug Straley said. “I am tremendously proud of this school division -- and our community as a whole -- for showing what excellence in public education looks like, and for embracing the Virginia Department of Education’s 5Cs of communication, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and citizenship. Our cybersecurity program is an exciting new venture that we believe will be another way for our students to master these skills and for our school division to fulfill our mission of challenging students to reach their maximum potential.”

In the summer of 2023, the five finalists will document their outcomes in a final submission for the chance to receive an additional $100,000.

“We would report on our overall program and progress to the Department of Education and that’s what would put us in the running with the other four school divisions across the nation to win the additional $100,000 grand prize,” Bouwens said.

“We take such tremendous pride in being able to prepare our students for a competitive global 21st-century workforce, and I think this opportunity is just going to show case that,” Straley said.

Copyright 2020 WWBT. All rights reserved.