The federal government recently awarded Virginia a $1.5 million grant to help small defense industry businesses with training and certification in cybersecurity in order to modernize the maritime industrial workforce.
The grant includes roughly $1 million for the GENEDGE Alliance, which will help roughly 85 small defense companies maintain compliance with the United States Department of Defense cybersecurity standards.
“Virginia is a leader in the defense industry, and the second highest recipient of Defense Department investments among all states,” said Virginia Governor Ralph Northam in a statement. “Local defense suppliers are critical to present and future military readiness, and this federal funding will help enhance their cyber capabilities while also improving the resiliency of our maritime workforce to meet modernization opportunities.”
The Maritime Industrial Base Ecosystem (MIBE) initiative, which is managed by Old Dominion University in Norfolk, will also receive $474,000 in grant money. The money will be used in part to provide the shipbuilding and ship repair workforce with modernized and sustained maritime training pipelines.
“This funding will help MIBE work with its stakeholders to strengthen Virginia’s maritime workforce, which is critical to our ability to continue building the world’s best warships, while also improving ship repair on-time completion rates,” said MIME’s executive director, retired Rear Admiral Brad Williamson.
“It will also position Virginia as a leader in the application of Industry 4.0 and 5.0 technologies in the maritime space. MIBE is engaged with business, academic, non-profit, and public leaders across five Virginia economic regions, as well as our public and private shipyards. I am certain that our collective efforts can create the maritime industrial base workforce of tomorrow while simultaneously creating jobs and economic opportunity across Hampton Roads.”