Cybersecurity, a Global Issue That Holds Regional Opportunities for Job Seekers and Students


Submitted by Centralia Community Foundation

On October 26 the Centralia Community Foundation (CCF) hosted an in-person Cybersecurity Summit at the Centralia Train Station event space. This was the first in a series of career awareness and exploration events to be held by the Foundations as part of its Career Pathways Initiative. Through generous sponsorship by Security State Bank, CCF had a video created of the event keynote and panel discussion Q&A to be shared with the public. The keynote video is currently available on the Foundation’s website linked in the recent news article.

The event was well attended and drew a diverse audience comprising local business owners, entrepreneurs, Trades representatives, educators, students, job seekers, local workforce development and business support agencies. The Keynote Speaker for the event was Steven Parker, CISA, CSSP, founding Director and President of EnergySec. Steven shared the current state of Cybersecurity globally, in the US and locally. He spoke to the dire need for industry professionals and discussed the impacts to individuals, businesses and our Public Utilities when targeted by cyber-criminals and malicious software. In explaining the cyber threat landscape, Steven provided tips to all on how to implement basic protections against specific types of cyber-attacks.

The panel of speakers for the event included Bob Guenther – Career Pathways Chairperson for the Centralia Community Foundation, Lorie Thompson Ed.D. – Career Connect WA Regional Network Administrator & Capital STEM Alliance Director, Dan Hagen – Assistant Professor of the Information Technology Program at Centralia College and JT Mundi – Owner of Chehalis based KODENUM Inc. The panel discussion that followed the speakers was robust and attendees engaged with questions for the panelists. Questions were fielded surrounding advice on personal and business security and inquiry regarding training for those who wish to enter the Cybersecurity career field. Businesses in attendance learned about resources available to them locally to upskill current employees to match their security needs. Event-goers participated in discussions surrounding upcoming apprenticeship opportunities in Washington which will prepare job seekers and students for careers in this IT field.

There will be more to come as the Centralia Community Foundation continues developing more and more partnerships with private industries and support organizations to assist schools and colleges by creating awareness events and outreach opportunities regarding job training and career pathways available in IT, Cybersecurity, and other careers.

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