Cal Poly’s California Cybersecurity Institute Collaborates with the Black Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City to Identify School Districts to Introduce Digital Literacy Education to Underserved Youth


KANSAS CITY ? With a mission of preparing the future workforce for careers and business opportunities in tech, the Cal Poly California Cybersecurity Institute (CCI) is collaborating with the Black Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City to identify local school districts to introduce a digital literacy education program. The first school district identified to participate in this innovative program is Kansas City Public Schools.

?We, at the Black Chamber, believe all students deserve access to innovative education programs designed to meet the evolving workforce needs of our global economy. It is important to introduce urban youth to cybersecurity careers and business ownership opportunities to which they otherwise may not know exist,? said Kelvin Perry, president of the Black Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City. ?Siemens Smart Infrastructure, a Black Chamber Corporate Sponsor, introduced the Cal Poly CCI program and team to the Black Chamber last year. We are pleased that KCPS has agreed to introduce the program as a part of its CTE/PLTW Computer Science Pathway for children attending the district.?

The cybersecurity training program, ?Cyber to Schools,? is designed to introduce underserved youth to the cybersecurity field. The Cyber to Schools Program provides the future generation of cyber experts with a cybersecurity curriculum, training and mentoring opportunities in digital literacy, information technology and networking, artificial intelligence and machine learning, data analytics, cloud computing and cybersecurity.

?At KCPS we are always eager to connect with real-world learning opportunities for our students. This partnership will bolster our ability to provide market value assets for our students in our computer science pathway and we are grateful for the community support,? said Dr. Mark Bedell, KCPS superintendent.

Cal Poly CCI, Siemens, and the Black Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City are introducing several opportunities to upskill and reskill the current workforce while also focusing on creating learning pathways that include mentoring and internships to guide K-12 students towards careers in tech. The collaborative effort is focused on propelling the greater Kansas City area into the digital revolution. The Black Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City will identify black-owned tech business owners to mentor the students in the Cyber to Schools Program.

?Full participation in the economy of tomorrow often means acquiring the skills that enable the technology of tomorrow,? said Bart Jacobson, general manager for Kansas City, Siemens Smart Infrastructure USA. ?By leveraging the partnership with Cal Poly, the Black Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City and the Kansas City Public Schools, we?re helping high school students gain early exposure to careers in technology and cybersecurity that are today? and will be into the foreseeable future ? in extremely high demand.?

Cal Poly CCI is providing a tech, cloud, and digital literacy training curriculum to Kansas City Public Schools aligned with state standards. The program also gives K-12 students the opportunity to participate in summer school courses, cyber competitions, professional training and certification as a non-traditional pathway to a career in tech.

?Making cybersecurity, cloud computing and digital literacy skills more accessible and engaging for young students is key to helping them see their potential in future technology careers,? said Bill Britton, Cal Poly?s vice president of information technology and chief information officer and CCI director. ?CCI is thrilled to be working with the Black Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City and Kansas City Public Schools to provide curriculum for K-12 students that will pave the way for them to become the next generation of cyber experts.?

Cyber to Schools promotes several opportunities that will direct students into future careers in the tech, space, and cyber industries. By participating in internships, summer school programs, cyber competitions, mentoring and certification training courses, students can build essential skills that will launch their future careers.

For more information about the Cyber to Schools program visit

Download the Results from the 2021 Program >

About Cal Poly California Cybersecurity Institute (CCI)

As cyberattacks continue to increase dramatically in sophistication and volume, the US finds itself with less than half the trained cybersecurity professionals needed. This severe shortage is a national security crisis, and represents a significant threat to California, the world?s fifth-largest economy and epicenter of digitalization and tech innovation. Cal Poly California Cybersecurity Institute (CCI) leads a state and national initiative to address this challenge. By bringing together the tech community, government agencies and educational institutions, CCI

is enhancing California?s cybersecurity defense capability. Through education, workforce development and applied research, CCI works to build a skilled and innovative cyber workforce capable of navigating today?s complex threat landscape. By training a new generation

of cybersecurity experts in the latest tools and techniques, this initiative is helping to protect data, computer systems and critical infrastructure.

Learn more about CCI:

About Siemens Smart Infrastructure USA

Siemens Smart Infrastructure (SI) is shaping the market for intelligent, adaptive infrastructure for today and the future. It addresses the pressing challenges of urbanization and climate change by connecting energy systems, buildings and industries. SI provides customers with a comprehensive end-to-end portfolio from a single source ? with products, systems, solutions and services from the point of power generation all the way to consumption. With an increasingly digitalized ecosystem, it helps customers thrive and communities progress while contributing toward protecting the planet. SI creates environments that care. With around 70,000 employees worldwide, Siemens Smart Infrastructure has its global headquarters in Zug, Switzerland, and its

U.S. corporate headquarters in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, USA. Learn more about Siemens in the USA:

About Black Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City

The Black Chamber is committed to the principle that the total metropolitan area is better served when Blacks participate more fully in the economic wealth of the community, and when the efforts of commerce, industry, and the professions are coordinated in maintaining and strengthening a sound and healthy business climate for all sectors of the community.

About Kansas City, MO Public Schools District

The purpose of Kansas City Public Schools (KCPS) is to provide a quality education that prepares all of our students, regardless of background or circumstances, for success in college, career and life. We will produce scholars who are high-achieving critical thinkers, prepared to succeed in a constantly changing world and engaged in the improvement of their communities. KCPS will accomplish this goal by providing teachers with the appropriate training, resources and support they need to develop the whole child.

Learn more about Kansas City Public Schools District: