Raytheon Technologies donated a $4 million grant to the newly formed Alabama School of Cyber Technology and Engineering (ASCTE) to help prepare students for cybersecurity careers in government and industry.
"The school offers an incredible opportunity for students to learn from leaders in STEM education, as well as subject matter experts within industry like those from Raytheon Technologies," said Matt Massey, ASCTE President. "This initiative is exciting for the entire state of Alabama with even further-reaching impact."
ASCTE is Alabama's only fully public, residential high school for students from across the state's 137 school districts seeking advanced studies in engineering and cyber technology. Tuition and housing for ASCTE are free.
"Alabama students now have the opportunity to access one of the most advanced engineering and cybersecurity preparatory programs anywhere," said Roy Azevedo, president of Raytheon Intelligence & Space, which includes the company's cyber business. "Raytheon Technologies' partnership with ASCTE, Huntsville and the state of Alabama will help our nation meet the demand for a future cyber and engineering workforce, while providing students with the education and skills they need to thrive in these careers."
The curriculum at ASCTE will address America's shortage of qualified cybersecurity and engineering development talent. According to a 2019 (ISC)2 Cybersecurity Workforce Study, the current cybersecurity workforce needs to grow by 145 percent to meet global demand.
"Advanced cybersecurity capabilities are critical to our national defense today and in the future," said Wes Kremer, president of Raytheon Missiles & Defense. "Through collaborative partnerships like ASCTE, we will grow our capacity in cyberspace to ensure its security for generations to come."
The City of Huntsville has donated 25 acres of land in Cummings Research Park for construction of the school's campus. The permanent facility will open in August 2022, but an interim site at Oakwood University opened its doors on August 17th to ASCTE's first cohort of 75 students. The school expects to grow to over 350 students by 2024.
"Leadership from the private sector will play a big part in maximizing the potential of the Alabama School of Cyber Technology and Engineering," said Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, who sponsored state legislation passed in 2018 to establish ASCTE. "All of us involved in creating this unique school thank Raytheon Technologies for its generous donation and its leaders for their pledge of ongoing support."
Raytheon Technologies invests millions of dollars in STEM education programs around the world every year to develop future technology leaders and give back to local communities. These programs include:
- Support of FIRST, a mentor-based global robotics competition
- Sponsorship of 22 Boys & Girls Clubs of America STEM Centers of Innovation in military-focused communities
- Partnership with NAF to establish engineering academies in under-resourced public high schools across the U.S.
- Support of Girls Who Code to expand free after school clubs that teach coding, confidence and comradery to 3rd – 12th grade girls
- Title sponsorships of National Collegiate Cyber Defense and MATHCOUNTS national competitions