NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WJBF) - The Silicon Valley of the South just got bigger with the addition of yet another Cyber Security initiative planting its roots on the riverfront.
On Wednesday, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster was in North Augusta for a ribbon cutting of SC Cyber's new office in North Augusta.
Mayor Bob Pettit says the community is at the center of a cyber tsunami and his city is ready to ride the wave.
The statewide initiative SC Cyber, based out of Columbia, South Carolina, is expanding its operation into a new zip code.
Founded just 2 years ago, SC Cyber focuses on developing the states cyber defense workforce through training, research and education.
Cyber security job opportunities have exploded in South Carolina. Currently there's more than 2,300 jobs openings in the online defense industry and that number keeps growing.
"One of my colleagues that works for SCIC said 3 years ago they had 3 people, today they have 60." SC Cyber Executive Director Tom Scott said. "Imagine when there is 10, 15 or 20 different defense industrial based companies that are all looking to move here."
That's where SC Cyber comes in.
"We are working with the 3 educational institutions around here, the public school systems, to help build up what we will call an education pipeline that can feed into the workforce needs and help supply the employees to meet that demand." Scott told WJBF NewsChannel 6.
Governor Henry McMaster says right across the river millions of dollars are being invested into cyber security at Fort Gordon.
"Any place within miles of that place is a natural for cyber work of all kind... cyber security...cyber innovation," McMaster said.
McMaster says that commitment from the government has laid the groundwork for infrastructure and brought the talent to our area. North Augusta is right in the center of the action and can lead the state into the digital age.
"This is going to be a great part of the new prosperity for South Carolina," said McMaster.
SC Cyber offices will be housed at the North Augusta Municipal Building on Georgia Avenue.
To learn more about SC Cyber click here.
Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 to bring you the latest on this developing story.
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