8Fayetteville Technical Community College President Dr. Mark Sorrells met with the State Board of Community Colleges to discuss the work of the Carolina Cyber Network and CCN’s comprehensive cyber security workforce strategy for North Carolina.

Sorrells made a presentation about CCN on April 20 during the issues luncheon portion of the State Board’s monthly meeting. Sorrells is a co-founder and leader of CCN, which was established in 2020 by Fayetteville Tech and Montreat College. Both schools are recognized as Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity Education by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security.

Fayetteville Tech and Montreat joined in creating CCN to establish a comprehensive, innovative and coordinated workforce-training solution to the burgeoning need for cybersecurity professionals at all levels and in all sectors of public and private entities in the state.

Sorrells told the State Board there are estimated to be more than 23,400 cybersecurity job openings in North Carolina currently and more than 755,000 cybersecurity job openings nationwide.
Since its founding, CCN’s membership has grown to include 11 community colleges and three four-year institutions, with an anticipated 3-4 additional colleges joining this year. CCN has received funding from the General Assembly to support its work.

Sorrells explained that CCN members work together to ensure their students meet cybersecurity workforce needs in a variety of economic sectors, including agriculture, biotechnology, critical infrastructure, financial services, healthcare, manufacturing and military transition.

Since the program’s start, Sorrells said, member schools in CCN have collectively reported a 60% increase in enrollment in cybersecurity credit programs and a 197% increase in total graduates. Among the 14 current member colleges, nine have reported adding or updating their cybersecurity programs. Four additional colleges are in the application and review process.

Sorrells said CCN has developed a dynamic and powerful public-private partnership with significant buy-in from industry and the highest levels of U.S. and State government.

CCN’s leaders are Sorrells, Lawrence Young, Executive Director of the Carolina Cyber Center of Montreat College, and David Thompson, President and CEO of RBX Solutions.
Current member schools are Blue Ridge Community College, Catawba Valley Community College, Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville Technical Community College, Forsyth Technical Community College, Gaston College, Montreat College, North Carolina A&T State University, Richmond Community College, Stanly Community College, Wayne Community College, Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute, Piedmont Community College and Wake Technical Community College.

For more information about CCN, please visit www.carolinacybernetwork.net.

For more information about Fayetteville Tech, please visit www.faytechcc.edu.

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