Cyber Talk Radio: Project Quest Workforce Development

Project Quest’s mission is to strengthen our economy with highly qualified employees in-demand living-wage careers.- Week 52 of Cyber Talk Radio

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 its 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.

Project Quest initially got its funding in and around the 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 current workforce needs. Over the last three years, Quest has partnered with Open Cloud Academy (OCA) to get into computer-bas 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 certification; in the course on Linux Administration, you can sit for the Red Hat Certified Systems Administrator certification; and then in cyber security you can sit for the CompTIA A+ and the Certified Information System Security Professional certifications. 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 Codeup 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 with or hire someone from the Quest program. Companies like USAA, CPS and Rackspace can testify to the talent that is being produced through Project Quest based training programs. If you write to [email protected] 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 talked about 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. One difference with this program is that it’s 100 percent scholarship funded, so that students don’t have to pay 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, which are the key roles that organizations need today and for years into the future.

To learn more about Project Quest, 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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