Joe Biden

Norfolk State University student Aaron McFall, shows Vice President Joe Biden and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, center, some of the things his class is working on during the vice president’s visit to NSU, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015, in Norfolk, Va. The students were learning how to find vulnerabilities in a computer network – part of the historically black university’s cyber security program. Biden was at Norfolk State University holding a roundtable discussion announcing new funding that will help train Americans to join the cyber security workforce. (AP Photo/The Virginian-Pilot, L. Todd Spencer)

Norfolk State University will lead 12 other historically Black college and universities in participating in a $25 million, five-year initiative established by the White House to foster education and training in cybersecurity for aspiring minority students.

As one of the leading institutions for the program, announced on its campus on Jan. 15, Norfolk State will use it’s share of the funds to train faculty and students; build course development in cybersecurity; and expand research and programs in cybersecurity fields.

Norfolk’s President and CEO, Eddie N. Moore Jr. called the grant a prime example of how NSU plans to forge ahead in a world where information technology has become an in-demand field.

“As the world becomes more dependent on technology and information is shared digitally, the threat of online hackers and data breaches are daily realities,” Moore said in a statement. “Norfolk State is poised to provide the expertise in cybersecurity sought by many employers in the private and public sectors, such as business, banking, healthcare and the military.”

Vice President Joe Biden, second from left, and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, third from left, listen as Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, center foreground, talks to a Norfolk State University class, in Norfolk, Virginia, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015. The students were learning how to find vulnerabilities in a computer network – part of the historically black university’s cyber security program. Biden was at Norfolk State University holding a roundtable discussion announcing new funding that will help train Americans to join the cyber security workforce. (AP Photo/The Virginian-Pilot, L.Todd Spencer)

The White House said the program will supplement the president’s plan to focus on “on the critical need to fill the growing demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals in the U.S. job market, while also diversifying the pipeline of talent in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.”

“The grant is not just about cybersecurity, it is also about developing a workforce pipeline in a very critical area,” Norfolk State Provost Dr. Sandra J. DeLoatch said. “Well-trained cybersecurity workers are needed and our goal is to be a leading institution in that field. We, along with our partners, plan to educate a new generation of cybersecurity workers who will help keep our country safe from cyber-attacks.”

In addition to Norfolk State, also participating in the government program are: Allen University, Benedict College, Bowie State University, Claflin University, Clark Atlanta University, Denmark Technical College, Morris College, North Carolina A&T State University, Paine College, South Carolina State University, the University of the Virgin Islands, and Voorhees College.