Cal State San Bernardino received a significant boost to its cybersecurity program through federal funding totaling $963,000.

The CSUSB Cybersecurity Center is poised to launch the Tech and Workforce Hub Project, an initiative designed to propel students into cybersecurity careers and address the nation’s shortfall of qualified professionals in the field. The federal funds were secured with the strong advocacy of U.S. Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-San Bernardino) and U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), demonstrating their commitment to safeguarding our nation's digital infrastructure.

“As cybersecurity becomes an increasingly critical part of our national security, I’m proud to represent a leading cybersecurity institution in Congress,” Aguilar said. “The nearly $1 million I helped secure for California State University, San Bernardino will support their cutting-edge Tech and Workforce and Apprenticeship Hub, where the next generation of cybersecurity professionals will have the opportunity to receive high-quality training and gain real-world experience in the field.”

CSUSB President Tomás D. Morales and Tony Coulson, executive director of the CSUSB Cybersecurity Center, expressed their gratitude for the funding.

“The federal funding secured for the Tech and Workforce Hub at the CSUSB Cybersecurity Center underscores the critical importance of investing in initiatives that prepare our students for the challenges of tomorrow's digital landscape as well as helping to prepare a skilled workforce in a vital and growing field,” Morales said. “I extend my deepest gratitude to U.S. Rep. Pete Aguilar and U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla for their unwavering advocacy and dedication to safeguarding our nation's digital infrastructure through their support of our cybersecurity program.”

“This investment is a testament to the critical importance of cybersecurity in our current landscape,” said Coulson, also a professor of information and decision sciences. “We're excited to create pathways that blend education with real-world experience, preparing our students to meet the challenges of the future.”

Coulson said that the initial phase of the Tech and Workforce Hub Project will be centered on creating a local security operations center. The location for this hub is anticipated to be the central point of the university campus, which is the John M. Pfau Library. The hub is envisioned to be a cornerstone in community cyber defense while simultaneously providing a dynamic, hands-on educational environment for CSUSB cybersecurity students, as well as community college students transitioning into the university to study cybersecurity.

The Cybersecurity Center at CSUSB’s Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration, designated as a Center of Academic Excellence by the National Security Agency, stands at the forefront of national cybersecurity education. The center’s programs not only enhance cybersecurity at the state and national levels but also significantly impact the Inland Empire region, evidenced by the contribution of over 300,000 community service hours by its students since 2015.

The groundbreaking work at the Cybersecurity Center exemplifies the university's commitment to social mobility and the transformative power of higher education. With the support secured through federal funds and the collaboration of the university’s legislative partners, CSUSB has solidified itself as a hub of cybersecurity innovation in an increasingly digital world.

The funding for the Tech and Workforce Hub is part of a larger congressional $12.2 million “minibus" package of fiscal year 2024 appropriations, signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 8, benefitting California State University projects.

See NBC4's segment on the Tech and Workforce Hub at "Cal State San Bernardino awarded nearly $1M to fund cybersecurity program."