AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)The bill to boost cybersecurity job training programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) has been signed into law on Tuesday.

According to officials, this new law is a part of the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, and it requires that 50% of the funds from the Dr. David Satcher Cybersecurity Education Grant Program go to HBCUs, tribal, and minority serving institutions in order to support greater diversity and equality of opportunity in the cybersecurity field.

The Dr. David Satcher Cybersecurity Education Grant Program was created by the Cybersecurity Opportunity Act which was put together by Senator Jon Ossoff and Representative Hank Johnson.

“As we know and have seen in recent months, cybersecurity is critical whether technology is used in private industry or government. Strong training programs at our nation’s HBCUs can play a major role in the development, education, and training of a diverse and innovative workforce of cybersecurity professionals,” says Dr. Cheryl Evans Jones, President of Paine College. “The legislation from Senator Ossoff will be a tremendous boost in developing, expanding, and strengthening cybersecurity programs at HBCUs to meet the growing needs of the field. This is particularly true of HBCUs such as Paine College in Augusta, Georgia as Augusta is a leader in cybersecurity with nearby Fort Gordon as the home of the U.S. Army Signal School, the U.S. Cyber Center of Excellence, and the U.S. Army Cyber Command.”

Officials say the grant program was named after the former U.S. Surgeon General and Morehouse School of Medicine Dean, and the purpose is to expand cybersecurity training programs at HBCUs, tribal institutions, minority-serving institutions, and other colleges and universities that serve a high proportion of Pell Grant recipients.