In an effort to strengthen the local cybersecurity workforce and make it easier for those interested in pursuing a career in cybersecurity to access training and education, Citizens for Modern Transit (CMT) has announced a new partnership with St. Louis-based CyberUp that will give students participating in the nonprofit’s eight-week cybersecurity training program the option to try transit for free. The opportunity is made possible through CMT’s Try & Ride program, which provides riders who are new to MetroBus or MetroLink with customized route information, helpful tips and free fare for the first month.
CyberUp works to address the talent shortage currently facing the cybersecurity industry by training people interested in the cybersecurity field and assisting with job placement. Its eight-week LevelUp training program helps these individuals break into high-paying careers, while helping employers close the skills gap. By partnering with CMT to offer program participants complimentary passes and assistance in navigating the transit system, CyberUp believes more individuals will be able to take advantage of its training program.
“We are very excited about this partnership with CMT,” said Amber Lowry, Program Director with CyberUp. “One of the barriers to our program is transportation. By removing that barrier, we think we will be able to expand our program and opportunities further into the community.”
The Try & Ride initiative with CMT and CyberUp is open to any Missouri or Illinois residents participating in CyberUp’s LevelUp program who don’t already utilize the St. Louis region’s public transportation system. Upon registering, each program participant receives a personalized transit route, a month of complimentary tickets, a journal to capture stories and write down reminders, and a list of tips for using transit. Registration also enrolls them in the Guaranteed Ride Home program, which provides the user with subsidized access to ride-hailing services like Lyft, a cab ride or rental car in the case of an emergency or unexpected schedule change at work.
“While public transit creates jobs, promotes spending and stimulates local economies, it also provides critical access to education and workforce development training,” said Kim Cella, Executive Director of Citizens for Modern Transit. “Being unfamiliar with the transit system, however, is often a major hindrance for individuals who would otherwise benefit from taking transit. CMT’s Try & Ride program has helped more than 6,000 individuals familiarize themselves with our region’s integrated public transit system. By extending it to students participating in the LevelUp training program, we hope to remove any reservations about using transit and encourage more individuals to sign up for the wonderful workforce development resource offered through CyberUp.”
CyberUp’s LevelUp Training Program is free for candidates. Classes meet twice a week from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at T-Rex (911 Washington Ave., St. Louis, MO 63101). Topics covered include workplace readiness skills, IT Fundamentals and NIST Framework. CyberUp will pay for the IT Fundamentals certification for students graduating from the program. Students then move on to CyberUp’s Cybersecurity Analyst Registered Apprenticeship Program and begin their paid, on-the-job training. The next eight-week LevelUp training session will begin in March 2020.