Camps Bring Cybersecurity to Bay Area Students

What started as a small pilot last summer has grown into one of the most successful regional outreach efforts to date.

More than 625 middle and high school students from the Bay Region attended one 12 week-long cybersecurity camp offered this summer at colleges throughout the area. The camps are part of the effort to make California a leader in cybersecurity training and education to meet growing workforce demand.

The first camp took place last summer at Las Positas College, and things escalated quickly from there as more colleges realized the importance of the cybersecurity pathway.

“There’s a big need for cybersecurity professionals that we cannot fill — not just here, but nationwide,” said camp facilitator and Bay Region ICT-Digital Media Deputy Sector Navigator, Richard Grotegut. “It’s not something you can just learn in school. It takes a lot of practice. We want the kids to get started early.”

Camps were held from June 26-August 4 at the following community colleges:

  • Las Positas College
  • Cabrillo College
  • Monterey Peninsula College
  • Solano College
  • Foothill College
  • Gavilan College
  • Santa Rosa Junior College
  • San Jose City College
  • Merritt College
  • College of San Mateo
  • Community College of San Francisco
  • Diablo Valley College

Camps were based on CyberPatriot, a cybersecurity education program created by the U.S. Air Force Association (AFA) in 2014 and supported by companies including Boeing, Cisco, Facebook, and Northrop Grumman.

Ryan Blanchard, a 16-year-old student camp participant from Novato, told the Santa Rosa Press Democrat that the camp at Santa Rosa Junior College solidified his love for the hacking he’s been doing since he was 8.

“I didn’t realize that that was what I wanted to do at that time, but in middle school I realized I liked getting into things I’m not supposed to be in,” Blanchard told the Press Democrat. “I think it’s important that people understand the severity of (widespread hacking) because as we become more connected, there’s just more that people can do.”

Though some participants like Blanchard were well versed in hacking, previous experience was not required to participate.

The camp’s goal was to prepare students for cyber competitions that are held throughout the year and ultimately pursue a college education that will lead to a career in the cybersecurity field.

“The Cyber Defense Competitions are a year round activity. They can get involved at their schools like they would an athletic activity. The team meets and competes regularly,” Grotegut said.

For more information about California Community College cyber camps, contact Richard Grotegut at [email protected].

Bay Area Cybercamps 


Business Information Worker Recruitment and Retention Guide Soon to be Released

New statewide research reveals there are more than 200,000 administrative support positions available annually in California, with a large percentage of these workers employed by staffing agencies. As Business Information Worker (BIW) advocates know, pathway courses like MS Office, Business Communications and Electronic Records Management are foundational to careers in many fields, including health care, entertainment, and technology. Yet, of the 110,000 students enrolled in pathway courses statewide, many do not continue and represent part of the 70% of California Community College students who leave the system in less than one year.

Developing a sustainable solution to this issue is one of the objectives of the California Tech Hire Academy grant funded by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. But research and prototypes are not quite enough. The vital aspect of this project is to provide a strategy in a ready-to-implement package made available to all community colleges. The ICT-Digital Media Sector team has been actively engaged in this process and has uncovered both BIW strengths and areas of need.

BIW Pathway Strengths

The California Community College system and most colleges already have many of the courses identified in the pathway. Currently more than 74% of colleges statewide have self-identified the courses on the BIW website. Matching third-party certifications and some digital badges are aligned with the pathway so that students can sit for validation testing and promote their skills on their LinkedIn profiles. Importantly, the Academic Senate has endorsed the BIW and is currently focused on C-ID standardization of the pathway which also conforms to Guided Pathways principles.

Increasing BIW Enrollment and Retention

Many students already enrolled in courses aligned with the BIW pathway don’t even know they are on the path, so helping them understand the value the pathway is to their employment and supporting their efforts is key. Prospective students need to be ‘sold’ the value of the pathway in order to make the necessary commitment to enroll and to finish.

The single most effective way to accomplish this is to focus on regional cohort recruitment and retention for the program at each college. Soon colleges will have access to a comprehensive BIW Recruitment and Retention Guide which details how to apply CTE Funding (Strong Workforce, Projects in Common, Guided Pathways) to initiate, manage and eventually create a sustainable community-based cohort support infrastructure.

Currently available CTE funding can be used to engage marketing and community support for this well-defined and detailed process. Statewide leadership through the ICT-Digital Media Sector Team will provide overall guidance to the effort and participating colleges will commit to the responsibilities listed. This program is compliant with the Guided Pathways institutional model.

The goal is a greater number of students completing the pathway and a sustainable community-based cohort support tradition that will evolve as a result of these efforts.

For more information and a preview of the BIW Recruitment and Retention Guide, contact Nicole Sherman at [email protected] or Steve Wright at [email protected].

BIW9 2017

Production Assistant Bootcamp Gives Students Behind-the-Scenes View of Entertainment Industry

Anyone in the entertainment industry knows that production assistants are the people who make the real magic of film and television happen.

A group of high school and college students from the Los Angeles area saw that firsthand when they completed Production Assistant Bootcamp earlier this summer. The nine-week program organized by Los Angeles Valley College covered topics ranging from writing and storyboarding to scheduling and budgets.

“It is a crash course in how to survive the ups and downs of a career in show biz,” said program coordinator and LA Region ICT-DM Deputy Sector Navigator, Dan Watanabe. “By the end of nine sessions, participants had working knowledge of how a production operates: in the office, on the set, and during post-production and delivery.”

That information was delivered by a variety of panelists from various segments of the entertainment industry. Each four-hour session included a mixture of group discussion with the panel and a hands-on activity related to that week’s topic. The goal was to give students a broad overview of careers in the entertainment industry so they could determine which area suited them best.

Students also completed two group projects and ended the bootcamp with a networking event that included all of the panelists from the previous eight weeks, plus representatives from the ICT-DM sector.

Twenty-one students participated the program and two have already been hired on projects since graduation. The emphasis on soft skills will prove beneficial to students even if they never work in the entertainment industry, Watanabe said.

Participant Rafael Zaldana said his primary interest is in directing, but the bootcamp opened his eyes to other aspects of the production process.

“What I took from this program was the hands-on getting a feel for the camera and what everyone’s part of production and post-production is,” Zaldana said. “Each person’s opinion is very valuable to me and I understand how difficult it is to be someone within the industry.”

Participant Dax Ranger said he’s not sure what area of the entertainment industry he wants to go into, but the bootcamp gave him the tools needed to do some additional research on his own.

“This bootcamp has really sparked some passions that I didn’t know I had,” Ranger said. “You can tell the mentors really care about all the kids because they are giving us really valuable information and they’re a really good resource for us.”

Instructor Sara Anne Fox said she learned from the program’s students at the same time they were learning from her.

“In sitting in on different classes and panels I’ve learned so much even though I’ve been in this business a very long time,” Fox said.

For more information about PA Bootcamp, contact Dan Watanabe at [email protected].

PA Bootcamp

Orange County Welcomes New Deputy Sector Navigator

A new Deputy Sector Navigator in the Information Communication Technologies and Digital Media Sector (ICT-DM) is poised to make Orange County a leader in the state's cybersecurity education initiatives.

Steve Linthicum, former ICT-DM DSN in the Greater Sacramento region recently moved to Southern California to assume the ICT-DM DSN position in the Orange County region. Linthicum also serves as Co-Project Director for the Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Innovation Grant issued by the California Community College Chancellor's Office to Coastline Community College.

Linthicum accepted the position after retiring from his role as a tenured faculty member at Sierra College in June. He continues to teach and support other community college faculty in a variety of classes that focused on network administration, information assurance and security, and virtualization/cloud technologies.

Linthicum’s initial DSN efforts have focused on revitalizing high school classes to insure they serve as a pipeline to college for students seeking high wage positions in the information technology field. He is currently developing a class that will be taught at three of the region's high schools that will focus on CompTIA A+ certification, coupled with general security concepts, building teams that will compete in the cyber defense CyberPatriot program.

CyberPatriot and the California Cyberhub are key Doing What Matters initiatives that are taking hold at community colleges across the state. Linthicum’s leadership will ensure that Orange County, one of the state’s most populated regions, is at the forefront of those efforts.

“California's community colleges are uniquely positioned to provide students with relevant training relating to cybersecurity workplace skills because of the ways they can easily adapt to necessary course content changes in this rapidly evolving field,” Linthicum says. “We align our courses with recognized IT and cybersecurity certifications that are often a mandated credential for employment."

For more information about Linthicum, visit his blog at or contact him at [email protected].


Business Information Worker (BIW) Press Release

Business Information Worker (BIW) Press Release
DATELINE: Thousand Oaks, CA

Steve Wright, Director & Sector Navigator
Information Communications Technologies (ICT) and Digital Media Sector Team
Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy, California Community Colleges
Desk: 805-496-8583, Cell: 805-231-8444
[email protected]

Re: Business Information Worker: A CA Statewide Program Gains Momentum

The Business Information Worker (BIW) structured pathway is an innovative, statewide, solution to employment for thousands of Californians of all ages offered through the California Community Colleges. Designed with faculty and business involvement the short-term branded pathway prepares students for entry-level middle-skill office jobs in six months or less.

The pathway represents a set of digital and soft skills in demand by businesses throughout the state based upon interviews with placement agencies and cross-referenced with advisory groups and other labor market information. BIW incorporates Keyboarding, Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook) Information Systems, Business Communications and Human Relations/Customer Service.

The BIW is advantageous to businesses in that they have a known skill set detailed and communicated consistently across the state. The BIW is an advantage to students who need employment sooner rather than later, giving them a clear and definitive pathway that leads to an entry-level job. Students can return for advanced credentials and pathways as their income permits.

Reported as a fundamental finding in The Digital Skills Gap In The Workforce, funded by Capital One and produced by Burning Glass Technologies:

"Much of the debate over technology in the workforce has focused on sophisticated skills, such as writing code. But the more significant impact on the middle-skill job market is in the humbler world of everyday software: spreadsheets and word processing, programs for medical billing and running computerized drill presses. To a large extent, a job seeker without the ability to use this software won't even get in the door." (Crunched by the Numbers: The Digital Skills Gap in the Workforce)

White House Interest in #StrongWorkforce

White House Interest in #StrongWorkforce

The CA Community Colleges Board of Governors enthusiastically adopted all 25 #strongworkforce recommendations put forth by the Task Force for Workforce, Job Creation and a Strong Economy at its November 16 meeting.

CAFWD James Mayer's blog in Capitol Weekly chronicles the significance of the action: "The leaders of California's vast community college system this week unanimously adopted a reform agenda with amazing ease - given how fundamentally hard the decision was to engineer." Read the article.

Xvoucher Program for ICT Certifications

Xvoucher Program for ICT Certifications

Thousand Oaks, CA, April 8, 2015

ICT-Digital Media Sector Team Announces Certification Voucher Benefit for CCC Students and Faculty

As you know, the high cost of certification exams can be a barrier for some students pursuing careers in ICT. We are pleased to announce that the ICT-Digital Media Sector has partnered with Genuine Genius Technologies to create a solution. Now your college can provide students a way to save 15-50% on the cost of certification exams. Students simply purchase a voucher through the California Community Colleges Xvoucher Website at a discounted price, then use that voucher number when registering for an exam.

There are benefits for faculty, too:

  • Each student voucher purchased helps qualify you for free CompTIA exams
  • No more searching for your member number; students purchase completely on their own
  • Gain insight on which exam vouchers are being purchased
  • Students contact the Xvoucher technical support team with problems or questions

Vouchers are now available for the following exams at a significant cost savings:

IT Technician Pathway: A New Statewide CA Community College Offering

IT Technician Pathway: A New Statewide CA Community College Offering

To: CCC CIOs, CTE Deans, CCC Counselors, Faculty, Businesses and Collaborating Partners

Re: IT Technician Pathway: A New Statewide CA Community College Offering

The ICT-Digital Media Sector of the Doing what Matters Program is pleased to announce its second Branded Pathway aimed at getting students into widely available and rewarding IT careers. The IT Technician Pathway (ITTP) will help students launch a career in IT by starting with computer retail or customer service jobs, and building relevant skills and certifications over time. This pathway uses existing academic programs and courses. While no new curriculum is created, statewide branding consistency can be achieved.

The pathway represents IT skill sets in demand by businesses throughout the state based upon interviews with IT contractors, equipment suppliers, various IT departments, and cross-referenced with CTE Faculty, advisory groups and other Labor Market Information. Dr. James Brady, Chief Information Officer of Kaiser Permanente Orange County, said, “The California Community Colleges IT Technician Pathway program describes an effective balance of training, certifications and experience to develop IT Professionals without a 4-year degree...”

The pathway not only meets the needs of industry, but it clarifies a lot of confusion for students, counselors and administrators. The ITTP invites students to follow three pathway stages. Each stage is defined by knowledge and skills necessary to acquire 3rd party industry certifications and employment in the IT field. Here’s a brief description of each stage:

Computer Retail Sales & Support
Students learn fundamental IT, business and customer service skills by taking the first 6 IT Technician Pathway courses and the CompTIA A+ Certification exam.
Help Desk/User Support
Students build on the IT Technician Pathway by completing additional networking and security coursework along with suggested industry certifications.
IT Technician
Students can further their careers by taking IT courses that teach advanced concepts, including CyberSecurity (Ethical Hacking) and Routing and Switching Essentials, and become certified.
Further Specialization Options Additional specialty courses include Mobility and Mobile Design, Cloud Essentials, CCNA Preparation, and Project Management/Process Improvement.

IT Technician Pathway: Labor Market Analysis

IT Technician Pathway: Labor Market Analysis

The Centers of Excellence for Labor Market Research (COE) in partnership with the ICT-Digital Media Sector of the Doing What Matters Program is pleased to announce the release of a new report: Information Technology Technician Pathway: Labor Market Analysis.

The report can be downloaded at: The COE or the ITTP Portal

This labor market report compliments and validates the IT Technician Pathway developed by the California Community Colleges' ICT-DM Sector Team. Occupations included in this study were selected by the Sector for their relevance to the IT Technician Pathway and California Community College program offerings. Industries included in this brief were chosen based on the likelihood of employing the selected occupations.

Phil Blair presentation - San Diego


Phil Blair,  Chief Executive Office and owner of Manpower, Inc., delivered a dynamic presentation to faculty and counselors from the San Diego/Imperial region. In his presentation, he provided valuable input on skills required to secure a job and how those skills must be included in all curriculum such that job candidates can create a positive impression during the interview process. He also endorsed the Business Information Worker certificate. Phil and I worked out a partnership last week (starting with a pilot at City) where his recruiters would come to the campus to recruit qualified students from any of the nine colleges and continuing education centers, to fill some of his current opened positions . He announced this partnership at the event and surprised all telling us that he had 250 entry level positions ranging between $10 -$20 / hr. 

Phil proceeded to tell all that if this pilot was successful, he would replicate this activity at any college willing to establish similar partnerships. Our public information officer is releasing the attached press release tomorrow as it is customary to inform on this type of activity. I believe this event and resulting partnerships opened new opportunities to help community college students secure gainful employment and showing that Doing What Matters For Jobs and the Economy is achieving its intended goals. 

Rose LaMuraglia, Dean
School of Business, Information Technology, and Cosmetology
San Diego City College
ICT- Deputy Sector Navigator Imperial/San Diego County Region
[email protected] |Phone: (619) 388-3488

South Central Coast Region

Industry and Educational Advisory Roundtable Discussion

On Saturday, March 29 2014 the South Central Regional Consortium Deputy Sector Navigators (DSN) collaborated on an “Industry and Educational Advisory Roundtable Discussion” at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Ventura, California. This project engaged over 30 educators from high school, community colleges and state universities on emerging and evolving industries within our service region to prepare students for workforce readiness.

The roundtables aroused in-depth conversations on the emerging and priority trends in various sectors with industry input about skills gaps and knowledge sets required of the future workforce. A panel of industry experts from areas of Biotechnology, Health Information Technology & Security - Big Data/Analytics, Advance Manufacturing and Agricultural/Water/Environment were facilitated by our keynote speaker, Robert S. Tipton change agent and author of “Jump! Get Unstuck”. Industry provided insight into direction that education needs to prepare the workforce of today and tomorrow for the job market.

In addition to the attendees, students were present to also discuss their views and translate their needs in education from high school to college to better prepare them for the workforce. This event has created great dialogue for the DSNs to move forward within sectors to develop a work plan for further work toward attaining career pathways from high school to college, and developing stackable certificates to a more valued future workforce.

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Sector Navigator & Director

Steve Wright

[email protected]

Phone: 805-496-8583

Copyright 2013 by California Community Colleges - All rights reserved

An initiative of the California Community College's Economic and Workforce Development (CCCEWD) program, the ICT-Digital Media Sector Team is dedicated to serving California's ICT-Digital media workforce needs. We are an integral part of the California Community Colleges and its Doing What Matters for Business & Industry framework, investing funding and resources in industry sectors that are key to California's economic growth. Our industry-specific workforce services are coordinated through a system of sector specialists that align community college and other workforce development resources with the needs of industry sectors and occupational clusters through a regional focus. Learn more by visiting