Pennsylvania Cybersecurity Center, Hermitage

LindenPointe, Westminster College Secure ARC Grants

HERMITAGE, Pa. – LindenPointe Development Corp. has secured a grant award of $1.15 million from the Appalachian Regional Commission to expand the Pennsylvania Cybersecurity Center, the commission announced Thursday.

The project was one of two in the region that received funding through the ARC’s Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization, or Power, grants.

The Pennsylvania Cybersecurity Center intends to expand from a pilot program in Mercer County to seven additional counties in the Appalachian region of Pennsylvania, thereby increasing the supply of local cybersecurity talent, the commission said.

The Cybersecurity Center has developed a curriculum recognized by industry leaders such as Cisco and CompTIA, which leads to Security IT certification. The center supplements this coursework with a Cyber Range, a virtual environment where workers or trainees practice handling specific real-world scenarios as cyber professionals.

These workers and trainees are then recruited from partnering high schools, colleges and adult workforce agencies, including the West Central Job Partnership. After training, the Cybersecurity Center places students into jobs within the cyber and IT industry through their current and future employer partnerships. The project is anticipated to serve 455 workers and trainees.

Also, Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pa., was awarded $437,351 toward a hi-fidelity simulation lab that is used in the college’s nursing and allied health programs.

The new laboratory will help Westminster College expand its nursing program and address the shortage of nurses and allied health professionals in three medically underserved and coal-impacted counties in the Appalachian region of Pennsylvania, the commission said.

The project will benefit Westminster students earning their Bachelor of Science in nursing credential and community partners who wish to upskill their nursing or allied health workforce, including first responders, according to the ARC.

Additionally, regional health care systems experiencing a labor shortage will have a reliable pipeline of trained nursing and allied health professionals to meet the growing demand for skilled health care talent. By the end of the three-year grant period and each year thereafter, approximately 50 nursing students will earn the R.N. or B.S.N. credential, and 25 workers in the allied health care field will earn or update their professional certifications and licensures.

Sixty-four projects in 217 counties across nine states were awarded nearly $54 million in ARC funds. There were no projects funded in Mahoning, Trumbull or Columbiana counties in Ohio.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.