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ANN ARBOR, MI. May 9, 2019 – For the first time, U.S. veterans can now use their G.I. Bill benefits to fund cybersecurity education at the Pinckney Cyber Training Institute.

It is anticipated that more than 1 million cybersecurity jobs in the U.S. will be unfilled by 2020. By building readiness and interest in cybersecurity careers with our veteran community and providing an education pathway, this opportunity will help fill the talent pipeline gap that Michigan is facing in the coming years.

The Pinckney Cyber Training Institute is now able to provide cybersecurity curriculum to veterans, thanks to a partnership with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Work Skills Corporation. This was made possible through authorization from the Michigan State Approving Agency, which approves all training programs for veterans.

“We are very proud and honored to be able to offer a cybersecurity training program for our veterans that have served our country. They have already defended our country once, now they can defend it against cyber attacks,” said Jim Darga, Director of the Pinckney Cyber Training Institute.

“This is a significant milestone for Michigan’s Cyber Ecosystem,” said General Stone, from The Michigan National Guard.

The funding to create the Pinckney Cyber Training Institute originated with a Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment grant with matching funds from Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The program, scheduled to launch in fall 2019, will focus on two primary career pathways; Cybersecurity Analyst and Cybersecurity Vulnerability Assessor. Both pathways are based off the National Institute for Cybersecurity Education Workforce Framework. Veterans are well suited for careers in cybersecurity, as many gained exposure to security procedures in the military along with experience confronting challenges in a timely and systematic fashion.

“We are honored to be selected to partner with the Pinckney Cyber Training Institute to provide employment and training services to veterans. WSC is dedicated to helping people optimize their potential and looks forward to the opportunity to further expand services available to our veterans,” said Tina Jackson, President of the Work Skills Corporation.

WSC will provide support for the program by assisting with recruiting candidates and providing career counseling.

“The Pinckney Cyber Training Institute is breaking down silos and fostering collaboration between academia, government and industry. Their work with the veteran community and this new designation is another example of the innovative solutions that PCTI is taking to fill a workforce pipeline that is needed on every industry. PCTI is an integral part of Michigan’s cybersecurity ecosystem and the implementation of their veterans’ training program will be an asset to Michigan businesses and those companies that are looking to locate in the State,” said Sarah Tennant, Strategic Advisor of Cyber Initiatives at Michigan Economic Development Corporation

The Pinckney Cyber Training Institute is a hub of the Michigan Cyber Range. Cyber Range Hubs act as magnet sites for communities’ cybersecurity ecosystems. Hubs offer cybersecurity education, training and workforce development.

For more information on utilizing G.I. Bill benefits toward cyber education, visit

The Pinckney Cyber Training Institute and Sentinel Center officially opened on December 7, 2016 and is now a hub on the Michigan Cyber Range. The Pinckney Cyber Training Institute is designed to serve multiple functions. The Institute has the capacity to provide high school and college students, as well as I.T. professionals, a site to take cyber security courses, earn government recognized certifications, and engage in cyber security training exercises. The institute provides software developers access to a secured cloud environment for product development and penetration testing. In addition, the 5000 square foot institute features a collaboration space with state-of-the-art telepresence capability to connect users on a global scale in real time.

Merit Network, Inc. is a nonprofit corporation owned and governed by Michigan’s public universities. Merit owns and operates America’s longest-running regional research and education network. In 1966, Michigan’s public universities created Merit as a shared resource to help meet their common need for networking assistance. Since its formation, Merit Network has remained on the forefront of research and education networking expertise and services. Merit provides network, security and community services to Michigan’s public universities, colleges, K-12 organizations, libraries, state government, healthcare and other non-profit organizations.

WSC is an exceptional provider of innovative educational, vocational and recreational programs and services for people with disabilities and other barriers to employment. The Work Skills Corporation family of business and education services include: Employment Services, Production Operations, Action Associates Staffing Service, Action Home Health Care, Residential Services, Studio West and the WSC Academy. Work Skills Corporation is CARF accredited and ISO 9001 certified.

Work Skills Corporation provides diversified employment, education and training services to meet the needs of people with barriers to employment in southeastern Michigan. For more information on employment and training services available at WSC contact Tina Jackson at (810) 534-6104.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, and Twitter.


PCTI Media Contact:
Jim Darga
[email protected]


MEDC Media Contact:
Kathy Achtenberg
[email protected]


Merit Network Media Contact:
Pierrette Renee Widmeyer
(937) 212-0631
[email protected]