July 16, 2020

NSWC Crane partners with Purdue University to offer cybersecurity apprenticeships


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University’s Cyber Apprenticeship Program (P-CAP) has launched at Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division (NSWC Crane) to advance cybersecurity capabilities. 

The launch at NSWC Crane comes after months of collaboration between the Warfare Center Division and Purdue to design and develop learning outcomes for the apprenticeship program that align with the Department of Defense’s guidelines for cybersecurity staff. The alignment with the DoD will allow for implementation across the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Warfare centers.

The P-CAP-registered apprenticeship program supported by the U.S. Department of Labor is being launched to support the rapidly expanding demand for cybersecurity professionals across the nation. The Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration awarded the job-training grant to Purdue to develop a pathway to higher education for at least 5,000 cybersecurity apprentices by 2023. The program offers online degree programs through Purdue and its education partners, along with industry-recognized certifications, a leadership academy, and on-the-job-training for U.S. citizens and green card holders who are at least 18 years old.

By leveraging the P-CAP program, NSWC Crane will train its current and future workforce for critical cybersecurity jobs. The apprenticeship program model uses Purdue’s highly ranked education, faculty, and academic rigor. 

“By becoming a Department of Labor-registered apprenticeship provider, NSWC Crane will have access to P-CAP candidates from across the nation,” said Patricia Herndon, department director, Expeditionary Warfare, NSWC Crane.  “I am also pleased to serve on the Women and Minority Advisory Council for the program to support the advancement of underrepresented individuals in cybersecurity.”

Several others involved in the collaboration also spoke of the benefits.

Doreen Gonzalez-Gaboyan, assistant director of P-CAP and NSWC Crane’s point of contact, said, “The partnership between Purdue and NSWC Crane enables both military personnel and civilians in the cybersecurity community at NSWC Crane, along with the industrial defense base, to advance their skills and capabilities to support a strong cybersecurity posture for the U.S.”

Kyle Werner, NSWC Crane director of engagement, said, “We see the program launch as also supporting the regional ecosystem by including our defense industry partners, enabling them to increase their capacity to support NSWC Crane and the defense industry at large.”

Larry Fink, NSWC Crane division manager for the Expeditionary Command Control Communications and Cyber Division: “NSWC Crane is responsible for multidomain, multispectral, full life-cycle support of technologies and systems enhancing capability to today's warfighter. Our responsibilities in keeping our nation safe rely heavily on our employees and the systems they design. This partnership is paramount for our ability to build a highly skilled team that is job-ready.”

Geanie Umberger, executive director for P-CAP: “Upon completion of the apprenticeship program, students can earn an online associate degree in information technology, an online Bachelor of Science degree in computer and information science majoring in cybersecurity, or an online Master of Science degree in cybersecurity. The program will support apprentices and give opportunities through various industry-recognized certifications and specialty certificates, and participants will receive a Purdue Leadership Academy certificate. This is the true essence of the program – to provide an earn-and-learn model that will move individuals upon the learning continuum. In light of the recent presidential executive order to suspend H1-B visas, the apprenticeship program provides a critical mechanism for employers to develop cybersecurity talent.” 

Purdue’s Cyber Apprenticeship Program is convening metro-regional stakeholders across the U.S. to implement the apprenticeship program. The collaboration between NSWC Crane and the industrial defense sector ensures that education, on-the-job training and recruiting are establishing benchmarks that will be meaningful to all agencies of the Department of Defense.

For more information, contact Doreen Gonzalez-Gaboyan at gaboyand@purdue.edu or visit the P-CAP website at purdue.edu/pcap

About Purdue University

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Media contact: Jim Bush, jsbush@purdue.edu

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