Caption: Nate Griffith, blue shirt, along with Bighorn Airways employees, CyberWyoming co-founders, and Chamber of Commerce Representatives at the 2022 National Apprenticeship Week ribbon cutting at Bighorn Airways in Sheridan, Wyoming.
LARAMIE – Nate Griffith, a native of Buffalo, Wyoming, and an IT Consultant working for DigeTekS, was awarded the Lauren P Miller Scholarship to provide financial assistance to individuals participating in a Registered Apprenticeship Program with the US Department of Labor.
Griffith said that receiving the scholarship was a welcome surprise. “Since I am relatively new to the field, I’ve had to borrow tools that sometimes were older and didn’t have all the functionality I needed. Being able to purchase my own tools will make my job easier, and I’ll be more efficient.”
“I’m going to purchase network discovery tools like a cable toner and trace kit. This will be really helpful when sorting out which cable is which,” said Griffith. “Javin Paoli, who won the scholarship in 2022, has been really helpful in suggesting which tools to purchase.” Paoli is a graduate of the Cybersecurity Technician Registered Apprenticeship program and also works for DigeTekS.
Griffith graduated from Western Governor’s University in 2021 with a B.S. in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance. He started working with DigeTekS in 2022 and is currently in the Cybersecurity apprenticeship program, supervised by Linh Le.
“Registered apprenticeship isn’t just for plumbing, welding, and electrical anymore. In our digitally connected age, it must include technical professions and cybersecurity,” said Laura Baker, Co-Founder of CyberWyoming, a statewide nonprofit organization based in Laramie.
CyberWyoming sponsors three Department of Labor approved Registered Apprenticeship programs: IT Specialist, for entry level professionals, Cybersecurity Technician, for more advanced employees, and a new occupation called Cybersecurity Business Counselor for Microbusinesses that is designed to help business advisors learn how to incorporate cybersecurity into their services. The apprenticeship training programs were developed in 2017, 2018, and 2023, and have been adopted by other organizations nationwide.
The CyberWyoming registered apprenticeship programs are free for any employer willing to technically mentor a new I.T. professional. As a part of the I.T. program, CyberWyoming requires each apprentice to undergo soft skills training on such topics as strategic planning for tech to conflict management and more. The Cybersecurity Business Counselor program is supported by CyberWyoming mentors familiar with the Made Safe and Cybersecurity Competition for Small Businesses Programs and an online learning portal.
“Today’s technology apprentices are tomorrow’s I.T. managers,” said Baker. She explained that statistically, employers benefit from apprenticeship with increased employee engagement, better trained employees, and higher retention levels.
Benefits to apprentices include additional training grants and scholarships as well as a Department of Labor certificate upon completion of the program.
“We think of apprenticeship as dual credit for the apprentice,” said Baker. “They get to work on their industry and vendor specific certifications while also getting credit through the apprenticeship.”
For more information about technical apprenticeship in Wyoming, contact CyberWyoming at firstname.lastname@example.org.