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Project Quest Workforce Development - Week 52 Cyber Talk Radio

By Bret Piatt
Sep 26, 2017

Project Quest’s mission is to strengthen our economy with highly qualified employees in-demand living-wage careers.

Show Summary

This past Saturday, September 23, episode 52 of Cyber Talk Radio hit the air on 1200 WOAI and iHeartRadio streaming. I was joined by David Zammiello, Executive Director of Project Quest for our one year anniversary of the first broadcast of Cyber Talk Radio.

We started out the program learning about Project Quest and it’s presence in the San Antonio community. It was founded in 1992 and is rooted in workforce development. They take people that are unemployed or underemployed and through training to get them into a career and a living wage job.

Initially got its funding in and around health care industry. The initial effort was to help people transition from manufacturing jobs that were leaving or going away, into jobs that were more relevant to the need at the time. Over the last three years, Quest has partnered with Open Cloud Academy to get into “computer” jobs. Through the partnership (where Quest funds half the cost of the course), last year they graduated over 200 people from OCA courses.

An important note that we want to emphasize is how this effort can lead to certifications. For example, in the course on Network Operations you can then sit for the Cisco Certified Network Associate; in the course on Linux Administration you can sit for the Red Hat Certified Systems Administrator; and then in cyber security you can sit for CompTIA A+ and the Certified Information System Security Professional. These certifications help both people that are new to the field, as well as long time practitioners that have never been certified in any of these areas. They also partner with Code Up and San Antonio Coding Academy. If you are former military, keep in mind that these programs are GI Bill eligible if you have available funds through that program.

We then walked through how David transitioned from a successful career at USAA to come in and start a second career in developing talent in the San Antonio community.

For potential employers out there, you should know that there are no fees in order to get connected/hire someone from the Quest program. Companies like USAA, CPS, Rackspace can testify to the talent that is being produced through Project Quest based training programs. If you write to susano@questsa.org and you’re looking for a job to fill, Susan will be happy to talk to you about your needs.

If you’re interested in Project Quest’s involvement in the healthcare industry you’ll be happy to know that they are the cornerstone of the program and are still available so take a look at the Skills Training section of their website for more information.

If you want to reach out and get involved there is a great opportunity to hear more about Project Quest at their 25th Anniversary Luncheon on November 8, 2017

Coming back from the break, we went into the Boot Camp that is 11 weeks long. The curriculum consists of Cyber Security Fundamentals, Cyber Security for Network Administration, IT Auditor and Risk Management, Ethical Hacking, Penetration Testing and Securing Wireless Networks. And one difference with this program, it’s a 100% scholarship so the student doesn’t have to come out of pocket for any of the tuition. It’s a full time program just like you’d be working a full time job. It’s an intense 11-week program that prepares you for success in completing the CISSP or CompTIA certifications.

We then went to talk about the different roles within cyber security. Just like any other team or organization there’s not just one role.

Part of what drives Project Quest in developing partnerships is the concept of a “demand occupation.” What are the key roles that organizations need today and for years into the future.

To learn more about cybersecurity, listen to the full episode replay available here!

Upcoming episode – Saturday nights from 11:00 p.m. to Midnight -

Episode 53, September 30: [Cyber Patriot Program at Southwest High School]

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