Lauren P Miller Scholarship Awarded to Cybersecurity Apprentice

LARAMIE – Javin Paoli, a Cybersecurity Technician Apprentice in Laramie 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.

“Oh man, out of 10, I was a 10 on how happy I was to get the scholarship,” said Paoli. “There have been a lot of times when I wished I had the equipment and now I do.”

Paoli, a Buffalo, Wyoming native, used the scholarship to purchase tools of the trade including a fifteen-in-one toolkit that includes items like a toner and probe to track wiring inside the wall, a crimper to make his own Ethernet cables, a punch down tool to terminate Ethernet cables in a patch panel, electrician scissors and electrical tape, CAT6 cabling, a headlamp and knee pads for crawling in the dark under desks to wire equipment, RJ45 connectors, a voltage meter, another book for a new certification he would like to reach, and an eight port managed switch for his home network which he will use to learn the equipment better for his Wyoming customers.

Paoli was particularly excited about the toner and probe which he says he has needed several times in the past few years to look for bad cables behind the wall.

“I reached out to my work team for advice of what to purchase,” said Paoli.

“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 two Department of Labor approved Registered Apprenticeship programs:  IT Specialist, for entry level professionals, and Cybersecurity Technician, for more advanced employees.  The apprenticeship training programs were developed in 2017 and 2018 and have now been adopted by other organizations nationwide. 

The CyberWyoming registered apprenticeship programs are free for any employer willing to technically mentor a new professional.  As a part of the program, CyberWyoming requires each apprentice to undergo soft skills training on such topics as strategic planning for tech to conflict management and more.  

“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 are evident from this article including 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 info@cyberwyoming.org.

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