WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, John Hoeven (R-ND) and Jacky Rosen (D-NV) reintroduced legislation that would help develop and retain highly-skilled cybersecurity professionals in the federal workforce. Agencies across the federal government face growing cyber threats, but struggle to hire and retain qualified cybersecurity employees. The legislation was unanimously passed by the Senate last Congress.
“Recent breaches of our federal cyber infrastructure, which compromised national security, show that our government needs an integrated federal cyber workforce that has the knowledge and skills to counter increasingly sophisticated threats.” said Senator Peters. “I am proud to reintroduce this commonsense legislation that will strengthen the federal government’s cybersecurity workforce by providing cyber employees unique professional development opportunities while they continue to serve our country.”
“Our bipartisan bill will help the federal government train and retain cybersecurity professionals to meet growing demand,” said Senator Hoeven. “By developing a rotational cyber workforce program, this legislation will enable federal employees to serve across multiple government agencies and expand their skills. This is all about ensuring the federal government has the professionals needed to meet our nation’s cybersecurity challenges.”
“The recent and unprecedented cyber-attacks targeting U.S. government agencies and the private sector underscore the urgent need to hire and retain highly-skilled cyber professionals to defend our nation,” said Senator Rosen. “As a strong proponent of workforce development, I’m proud to work with my colleagues to reintroduce this legislation that will strengthen our nation’s federal cyber workforce. I will continue working to ensure that our government agencies get the resources they need to hire and retain the properly trained cybersecurity experts we need to keep our nation safe.”
Government agencies often cannot compete with the salaries and other benefits offered by tech giants in Silicon Valley, but they provide valuable opportunities to serve the country and defend our cyber front lines. The Federal Rotational Cyber Workforce Program Act creates a civilian personnel rotation program for cybersecurity professionals at federal agencies. This program would enable employees to serve across multiple government agencies, allowing them to gain experience beyond their primary assignment and expand their professional networks. The legislation will provide opportunities to help attract and retain cybersecurity experts in the federal government by offering civilian employees opportunities to enhance their careers, broaden their professional experience, and foster collaborative networks by experiencing and contributing to the cyber mission beyond their home agencies.
Peters has led efforts to bolster our nation’s cybersecurity defenses. Peters convened a hearing with senior cybersecurity officials on the SolarWinds hack and ongoing cybersecurity vulnerabilities. As a part of the American Rescue Plan Act, Peters helped secure nearly $2 billion to modernize and secure information systems critical to the federal pandemic response. Last Congress, the Senate unanimously approved Peters’ bills to strengthen cybersecurity coordination between DHS and state and local governments. Peters has also pushed bipartisan legislation to improve access to cybersecurity resources and training for small businesses and support K-12 schools with the resources they need to bolster their cybersecurity.