At ReliaQuest, we share a common mindset, led by four values to make security possible – being accountable, helpful, adaptable and focused. While these attributes drive development of our platform and our relationships with customers and partners, they also push us to strive to make our surrounding community better and inspire individuals of all ages and backgrounds, with a focus on those from underserved communities, to consider the value of a cybersecurity career. While IBM aims to train 150,000 people in cybersecurity skills over the next three years, and Amazon will make its cyber awareness training available free to everyone, those initiatives will take time, and it really comes down to a skills transfer issue. To address this specific challenge, ReliaQuest has continued to invest in its local community and hire employees based on their mindset and transferable skills. In doing this, we have filled hundreds of open vacancies at ReliaQuest, proving how reskilling can transform the future of the cyber workforce.
To further this commitment, announced today, ReliaQuest expanded its partnership with 3DE National, a non-profit organization dedicated to re-engineering high school education nationwide. ReliaQuest and 3DE’s partnership began in 2019 for more than 300 students across three local high schools. Today’s news about the expanded program adds four Tampa Bay high schools with ReliaQuest as the case challenge for its tenth-grade students. This marks the first time high schools in Tampa Bay worked locally with ReliaQuest on a cybersecurity curriculum. In 2020, the 3DE program generated 42% fewer chronically-absent students on average compared to host school peers. In fact, 71% of 3DE students scored proficient or above others on state end-of-course assessments, and 90% of rising 10th-12th grade students are on-track for graduation, while 89% of high school seniors participated in internships/consultancies. Not only will students learn about ReliaQuest and cyber security, they will also receive coaching from ReliaQuest employees. By being more relevant, experiential, and authentically connected to the complexities of the real world, ReliaQuest is helping students become more fully prepared for the demands of tomorrow’s economy and excel in their overall education.
Making security possible for ReliaQuest customers starts with our commitment to the community. We work to inspire current and future cyber professionals to be the best that they can be and provide the tools necessary to get there. We’re investing in this community because we believe in the region’s potential as a new tech center for cybersecurity and the local talent. For example, we are proud to be a founding partner of Think Big for Kids, working with students from Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay to provide career exploration, a mentorship program, on-site visits, job shadowing, and event sponsorships. Another initiative includes the launch of ReliaQuest Cybersecurity Labs at the University of South Florida in 2018, funding the program through a $1 million, 3-year commitment. The four-week course gives students across all majors the opportunity to learn the fundamental skills needed to prepare them for careers in cybersecurity. More than 180 students have graduated from the program since its inception, and we are thankful to have hired more than 30 of these students as both interns and full-time employees at ReliaQuest. This program will be offered again in 2022 due to its incredible success in guiding students toward exploring a cyber career.
ReliaQuest will continue to commit time and resources toward empowering all cyber professionals, equipping them with the best tools, experiences, and knowledge that are key to a successful career in the field.