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Fayetteville Technical Community College hosted National Cyber Director Harry Coker Jr. on Wednesday, welcoming the White House official in a day-long event focused on spotlighting the work happening in North Carolina to strengthen the state’s cyber ecosystem.

Joining FTCC as host was the Carolina Cyber Network, a coalition of 18 two- and four-year higher education institutions committed to building a workforce pipeline to meet the needs of the booming field of cybersecurity.

The event was particularly focused on encouraging veterans, military-connected spouses and students who don’t necessarily have a four-year degree to pursue good-paying jobs in cyber.

In public remarks delivered to more than 200 veterans, military-connected spouses, students and stakeholders in the North Carolina cyber community, Director Coker stated that more than 450,000 jobs have been created in the state during the Biden-Harris Administration, and today more than 18,000 cyber jobs are available in North Carolina in critical industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, education and finance.

“The partnership between Fayetteville Technical Community College, as part of the Carolina Cyber Network, serves as a beacon – creating a robust ecosystem that helps expand opportunities for all students – and especially impressive is the support for military spouses and upskilling and reskilling of transitioning veterans in the cyber workforce here in North Carolina and across the country,” Director Coker said.

National Cyber Director Harry Coker Jr. visits FTCC on March 20, 2024.
National Cyber Director Harry Coker Jr. speaks with FTCC Instructor Rhiannon Holley.
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Rob Shriver, Deputy Director of the Office of Personnel Management, also delivered public remarks, encouraging job-seekers in the cyber field, especially those with military connections, to consider a career with the federal government.

The program also featured Maj. Gen. Colin P. Tuley, 18th Airborne Corps Deputy Commanding General at Fort Liberty, who poignantly shared how veterans and military-connected spouses bring a service-oriented sense of duty and mission to their post-service careers, including in cybersecurity.

While at FTCC, Director Coker sat down with a diverse group of veterans, military-connected spouses and FTCC students who are pursuing cyber careers to learn from their experiences and hear why they are pursuing a career in cyber. He visited the Cyber Career Expo jointly hosted by CCN and FTCC featuring 15 employers from the private sector, local government and academia all aiming to hire FTCC students.

Director Coker also visited an ecosystem roundtable with local cyber industry stakeholders where he heard first-hand about the challenges and opportunities their organizations face. He noted innovative solutions that have worked in North Carolina to expand their cyber workforce pipeline.