Thank you all very, very much. It is great to be with you. All these Cyber Warriors gathered here in Baltimore City, the original land of the free and home of the brave.
It is terrific to see all of you and I want to thank you Senator Cardin for your leadership, not only on this issue but on the most important issue facing our country’s future prosperity and security and that is the fight for jobs and the fight for job creation.
I just want to encourage you and Senator Mikulski to keep fighting every day, in every way, every week, for that most important and urgent of missions.
No progress is really possible unless we employ more of our people. That is what these votes are about in Congress and I am so glad that you and Senator Mikulski are supporting the President’s drive to create jobs.
Whether its jobs in teaching, in public safety, jobs through investing in our infrastructure and in our cyber infrastructure. All of those things that we need to do in our own time in order to keep this great job-generating and ongoing story of America moving forward. It is not a democratic or a republican idea but rather a historic truth and an economic truth that in order to create new jobs and new opportunities, a modern economy requires modern investments. And, you know what? China, India, they’re not going to come here and do that for us. We welcome them if they want to invest here and start businesses here but these sort of fundamental investments that we need to make, that our parents made, that our grandparents made, that their parents and grandparents made, these are things that we do. And, so Senator, thank you and thank you for your awareness and vision toward the issue.
We are at the epicenter of cybersecurity here in Maryland. And, I am so proud of the work that all of you are doing and the opportunities you are creating through your talents and through your skills. I want to thank you for coming to the Maryland Cyber Challenge and Conference. How many of you are here from out-of-state? Raise your hands!
I see a few of you. Good, good.
How many of you are here from Maryland?
Alright! Lets have a vote!
I want to thank NSA, Hewlett Packard, CyberCore, Larry Cox, and everyone at SAIC and all of our sponsors for investing in Maryland’s cyber sector. It’s no accident that SAIC chose Columbia to open its new Cyber Innovation Center. I was there that day. I think that Senator Cardin and Senator Mikulski were there that day as well. And, recently, I was at a ribbon-cutting and further expansion of CyberCorps expanding its headquarters in Elkridge. In fact, I got a great new Under Armour purple shirt out of the deal.
In travels around our state, I’ve been able to visit places like SAIC, places like CyberCore, places like Lockheed Martin, and other places that are really the hubs of innovation throughout our state that are allowing us to rise to this new challenge in our time – a security challenge that is new, and one that we can rise to and that we must rise to. I’ve seen firsthand the positive impact these companies are having on job creation and on cyber innovation in our State.
SAIC employs more than 6,500 Marylanders that they admit to. There is probably another 20,000 in an undisclosed location deep beneath the corn fields of Howard County. That is 6,500 Marylanders in our IT and cybersecurity sectors. And CyberCore plans to create another 100 jobs in just the next year/year and a half. Thanks to our cyber initiatives, and the work of these great companies and the work of all of you, we are creating partnerships and great companies that, at their core, employ 28,000 people directly and as Senator Cardin mentioned another quarter of a million, almost 350,000 in IT-related. And, if it is IT-related, it is also cyber-related.
I wanted to share with you a couple thoughts. I have recently been reading a book by Dr. Jeffery Sachs, who is an advisor to Kofi Annan at the UN. You have seen him sometime on Morning Joe and other programs like that. His book is called “The Price of Civilization.” And, in that book – he is an economist by training – he says, “You know, our problems as a nation, its not primarily a failure of macroeconomics and the fix is not so much one of stimulus or the short-term things, though those things can help, or the interest rates. He says that our challenge is a labor-market challenge. In other words, there is a huge gulf between the opportunities that are available and the skills that our population generally has to fill those new opportunities.
So, job creation must be our nation’s – and our State’s – top priority. Progress is only possible with greater employment. And to create jobs, as I said, a modern economy requires investments including investments in the talents and the skills of our people. Education is an economic development investment. Community college is an economic development investment. Affordable college is an economic, job creation, opportunity investment.
We are home to literally thousands of companies –emerging and established – which are working at the cutting edge of cybersecurity. We are home to federal assets, that the Senator mentioned, like National Institutes of Science and Technology, the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, the Joint Cyber Command, the National Security Administration, and Aberdeen Proving Ground. And, get this: Thirteen of our colleges and universities’ cybersecurity programs have earned the highest ranking for excellence from the NSA and the federal Department of Homeland Security. That is more than Illinois, that’s more than California, that’s more than New York. Those thirteen universities that are here are more than any of those other, much larger, States.
Right now, Maryland is in the top four states nationwide for our concentration of technology jobs and I know that that is going to grow. That will grow if we continue to make the investments in the talents and skills of our people.
So, I wanted to touch on a few last things that we are doing to help Marylanders advance our State’s emerging cyber sector.
Our world has gone through some rapid change on a global scale, and global competition is increasing. In many ways, when we look at the first fruits of the global economy, we are hard-pressed to say that these things are things that have brought progress to the United States when you look at declining wages over the last ten years, when you look at joblessness. But, if you’re going to write a new chapter of expanding opportunities, expanding jobs and a rising rather than declining United States of America, then we have to rise to these challenges and make these challenges our opportunities. And, creating jobs, spurring innovation, expanding opportunity is what this sector is doing every day and in every way, protecting a 21st century cybersecurity infrastructure. In Maryland, we have chosen to invest in that innovation economy. The Milken Institute ranks us among tht top two states in America for science and technology. The Kaufmann New Economy Index ranks us in the top three among states in our ability to make this new economy ours. Though, many Marylanders are far more familiar with our life science and biotech sectors, than they are with this emerging cybersecurity sector. So, our challenge is not only one of investing in skills, our challenge also is communicating, letting our neighbors know what this is. I think we have an unbelievably strong, wishbone, offense for the future when you look at the life science and the biotech and you combine that with the cybersecurity assets we have in our state.
There is an adage in business which says that if you don’t have the competitive advantage then you shouldn’t compete. Well, we have tremendous competitive advantage. I’ll tell you what: I go to some of the National Governors’ meetings, Senator Cardin, and I look around at the other Governors and there nothing like looking into the eyes of those other men and women and the unemployment rates they face and then running home and realizing what tremendous assets we have here, and your talents and your skills. As we have had NIH, and Hopkins, and University of Maryland to anchor our life science and biotech, we have all the competitive advantages that we need to compete where cyber is concerned.
One of the ways that we’re doing that is with our InvestMaryland initiative that we launched in the last General Assembly – largest infusion of venture capital, public dollars, that we’ve ever made in our State – 75 million dollars. The goal of that venture fund is to move the great ideas from the labs and the innovation centers into commercialization and into the economic veins of our State so we can create more jobs including cybersecurity jobs in places like Sourcefire, Tenable Security and Oculis Labs, and others.
Because we know that the strength of our cyber sector comes from the skills and talents and education of all of you, we are therefore training our people to compete for and win jobs in our cyber sector. To connect people already in the workforce with cyber jobs, we’re providing cybersecurity job training in partnership with University of Maryland University College –affectionately called UMUC. Actually, I don’t think they like the name UMUC – University of Maryland University College. Did you know that University of Maryland University College is the largest public, online university in the world? Fun fact. Take that to the bar tonight and you’ll win a bar-back.
And we’re teaming up with our partners in federal and county governments as well. Our community colleges are tremendous places of workforce training and retraining. And, we are teaming up with our partners in the federal and county governments to train 1,000 Marylanders for cybersecurity jobs. We are declaring our goals for measuring our performance to achieve them. So far, we have already enrolled nearly 712, many of them are people who lost their jobs and are now retraining for careers in cyber.
To prepare the next generation of Marylanders, we’ve made the largest investment in K-12 education in our State’s history over these last four years. We are incorporating education in the STEM disciplines – science, technology, engineering and math – into all of our schools. I really look forward to upping what we do in terms of career and technical education in our high schools. You know, gone are the days of vocational training and woodworking class. We have tremendous opportunities and our kids…What is that song? “The Kids are Alright.” The kids are into this. Young people are really excited about this and are interested in this – if only we can create the dynamic curriculum in career technical education in our schools.
If you can walk with me right around the corner here to what was the old Southern High School that is now Digital Harbor High. You walk through that Baltimore City High School and you will see kids, black and white from all over our city who have chosen to go to that magnet technology school and you will think that you are walking through some college hallways given the level of technology in the classrooms. So far, we’ve increased by 23% the number of kids in high school who are taking AP-related courses and passing the tests in those STEM-related fields. I think we have tripled the number of high school teachers who are certified to teach STEM, all of that just within the last four years.
Your state is the only state to go four years in a row without a penny’s increase in college tuition. Why is that? Because the talents and the skills are so very, very important.
We are also offering Career Technology Education at more of our high schools. Forty-two high schools now offer an IT curriculum that was designed in partnership with the Tech Council of Maryland and with businesses like Cisco, Lockheed Martin, Northup Grumman, IBM, and Oracle. These companies are also offering mentorship and internship opportunities to our students.
In the past 4 years, we’ve been able to more than double enrollment. And while other states have similar initiatives, our State is the first which to offer a cybersecurity component to the course of that CTE study.
To bring more cyber education to our colleges and universities, we’re investing in grants to community colleges and 4-year colleges to develop cybersecurity classes and course work. In fact, Senator Mikulski and Senator Cardin recently won, I think a 750,000 dollar grant – was it for Morgan? In Bowie? The good news just keeps coming from our cyber Senators.
But, let me conclude with these final thoughts. In Maryland, we do have these unique advantages put us in a great position to lead the nation in cybersecurity and cyber jobs.
But none of this is going to be easy. There is going to be in our economy as we move forward good days and bad days. But, lets keep this in mind: We are coming out of a near financial collapse in our banking industry, that means our recovery is going to be slower. This is not like the sort of cyclical recession that you and I – as I look at this room of people, half of them are a lot younger than I am – that we have seen before in our life times. At the same time, we are facing some bigger economic challenges that also are not cyclical – they are transformational. So, we need to work hard, every single day. You may have read in the newspaper of Northrop Grumman laying off 800 people nationwide. 400 of them were in Maryland. When I spoke to a gentleman from Northrop Grumman when he kindly called, one of the first questions I asked him was, “Where any of these layoffs in cyber?” He said “Oh, no. None of these layoffs were in cyber.” Northrop is still hiring in Cyber. Private industries are going to continue to hire in cyber. Our national security agencies are going to continue to need contractors, subcontractors and soldiers in cyber.
The challenges that we face in terms of American opportunity, American prosperity and security if you will are problems that can only be solved by having a better understanding of the whole. For about 400 years in western thought, we wanted to reduce everything to a specialization. Increasingly, we have to become much better at perceptual thinking, understanding the connections between the connections. And that is what your discipline that is what your vocation that is what your calling really is all about. A guy named Paul Hawkin wrote a book called “Blessed Unrest” and in that book, he talks about an immune system being strong not because it outnumbers the bad actors or the bad germs that are attacking the body, but because that immune system is better coordinated. Acts, in concert, are better than those bad germs. That is the discipline that you are a part of in cybersecurity, understanding the connections between the connections, the relationships between the relationships and in this new age, bringing forward American innovation, American ingenuity, the diversity of cultures and talents that come together in this remarkable place in order to secure our county’s future and give her a more prosperous future.
Thank you all so much for what you are doing. Please know that in this wishbone offense, all of working in State government are absolutely supportive and encouraging and we will do everything we can to propel your mission forward.