Gov. Gianforte Touts Montana’s Cybersecurity Workforce at Missoula College

Governor's Office
  • May 07 2021

HELENA, Mont. – Governor Greg Gianforte visited Missoula College today to tout the state’s growing cybersecurity workforce through the college’s National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Two-Year Education. (CAE2Y)

“Missoula College is nationally recognized for its cybersecurity program that is training Montana’s future cybersecurity leaders,” Gov. Gianforte said. “We’re focused on developing a talented cybersecurity workforce in the state to ensure Montanans’ personal information and data are safe, secure, and protected.”

At the college, the governor cohosted a roundtable discussion on cybersecurity workforce development with president of the University of Montana Seth Bodnar, dean of Missoula College Tom Gallagher, chief information officer for Montana Kevin Gilbertson, chief information security officer for Montana Andy Hanks, and public-private cybersecurity stakeholders.

“There is no place more prepared to help meet workforce demands than UM,” said UM President Seth Bodnar. “Whether it is the traditional student out of high school or the lifelong learners who need new job training, Montana’s next generation of cyber warriors will be trained right here in the Montana Cyber Hub at Missoula College.”

The governor announced on March 29 that Montana is one of five states selected to participate in the National Governors Association’s (NGA) 2021 Policy Academy to Advance Whole-of-State Cybersecurity.

In the new policy academy, Montana will work on developing and implementing cybersecurity workforce development plans.

Speaking about Montana’s participation in the program, chief information security officer Andy Hanks said, “We want to ensure that Montana employers have access to a skilled cybersecurity workforce, and we want our cybersecurity workforce to have access to high-paying Montana jobs. The Gianforte Administration wants a cybersecurity talent pipeline in Montana.”

At the roundtable, the governor heard about barriers to the development of Montana’s cybersecurity workforce, like a lack of access to reliable broadband across the state. Using federal funds, Montana has committed $275 million to build out broadband infrastructure and help close the digital divide.