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CyberUp looks ahead with vet training, four new board members

CyberUp, a national nonprofit organization from headquarters in the bistate area, announced four new board members who will each help support the nonprofit’s work to cultivate the cybersecurity talent pipeline for today and tomorrow.

“We’re excited to expand our board with four new members who will bring diverse expertise and insight to our work,” said CyberUp Board Secretary Doug Menendez. “We have worked diligently to ensure CyberUp’s board and leadership represents a variety of experts from various industries and is a better reflection of the world we live in, and the newest board members are no exception.”

The four new board members are:

  • Renita Rhodes, Principal Auditor – Information Security, Wells Fargo
  • Suda Suvarna, Deputy Chief Information Officer/Managing Director, Deloitte
  • Eddie Williams, Strategy, Governance and Management, PwC
  • Chris Hogan, Vice President, Corporate Security Architecture and Engineering, MasterCard

CyberUp is a 501c3 created to cultivate the cybersecurity talent pipeline.

CyberUp launched in February 2016 as a regional effort to expand the availability of cybersecurity talent but aspires to reach a national audience. In a short time, the organization and organization’s leadership has grown to be a nationally recognized team who has the solution to shrinking the forecasted 2.5 million job openings by 2022.

CyberUp offers an apprenticeship that prepares a skilled workforce for companies to hire. Its long-term approach connects youth with a gamified, virtual cybersecurity competition to gain cybersecurity skills and piques their interest in pursuing STEM related careers.


Boeing and CyberUp team up again to train veterans

CyberUp’s training program tailored to transitioning service members

A little over four years ago a group of community leaders came together and presented an idea on how to grow the regional workforce.

These leaders included organizations like St. Louis Regional Chamber, Leadership Council of Southwestern Illinois, and Scott Air Force Base. The base was seeking a solution to their growing skills gap and a way to overcome hiring cleared personnel. The creation of CyberUp offered a solution.

With support from Boeing and the Scott Air Force Base Airman and Family Readiness Center, CyberUp has developed a pathway to help transitioning veterans begin a high paying career in cybersecurity.

On Oct. 5, CyberUp started training 15 veterans and military spouses for our Veteran LevelUp Program. The program targeted veterans transitioning from active duty with 6 – 12 months left to their military commitment or active National Guard and Reservists.

Participants receive six months of free, virtual supported training by CyberUp. Their training will ramp up their technical and cybersecurity skills to CompTIA Security+. Upon completion of their training, veterans are eligible for apprenticeship placement services from CyberUp. Through placement at an employer partner of CyberUp, veterans will complete 2,000 hours as a paid apprentice and continue their technical skills training.

To build on the success of the previous three cohorts, Boeing has invested in CyberUp to train 30 more veterans and military spouses in 2022.

They are teaming up to support Scott Air Force Base, which is forecasted to have approximately 4,000 service members transition in 2022.

“This is the first step to attracting and training veterans in cybersecurity to stay in the St. Louis region. Veterans are highly sought after by local companies because of their commitment to mission and core values,” said Tony Bryan, executive Director at CyberUp (shown).

“We have a tremendous amount of talent transitioning each year from our partners at the base. The more we can do to incentivize them to stay in our region will help fill our growing skills gap. I would like to personally grow this program to account for a minimum of 10 percent of the veterans transitioning each year. When we do this right, we can help other military communities through apprenticeship and training,” he said.

To learn more about the Veteran LevelUp Program, visit CyberUp’s website at Information about the program, how to apply, and additional upcoming class details can be found there.

CyberUp is a 501c3 nonprofit with a mission is to cultivate the cybersecurity talent pipeline for today and tomorrow. They accomplish this through their nationally recognized LevelUp: Apprenticeship Program and their youth focused PowerUp Cyber Games. To learn more, visit, or contact Bryan at or (314) 764-5419.

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