AUGUSTA, GA ( WJBF) — HBCU’s like Paine College could be getting some help for their cyber security programs.

A new bill sponsored by Georgia Senator Jon Ossoff would provide funding for cyber security programs at HBCU’s.

“Its a great opportunity to strengthen programs and just build them further in terms of infrastructure, laboratory needs and that sort of thing,” President of Paine College Dr. Cheryl Evans Jones said.

The bill requires that 50 percent of funds must go to HBCUs to support what Ossoff calls greater diversity and equality in the cyber security field.

“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity. I think Senator Ossoff and his colleagues recognize the wealth of talent in the students that matriculate from HBCU’s and this will certainly allow that talent to be cultivated,” Jones said.

The Cybersecurity Opportunity Act will create a grant program to expand cybersecurity training at HBCU’S  and other colleges and universities in Georgia and nationwide.

Paine College President Dr. Cheryl Evans Jones said it would be a great opportunity for Paine students to get into the cyber workforce especially in Augusta. 

“Many of our students do choose to stay here in the CSRA after graduation. So, after they have been prepared through funds that will be available, they can go out and secure jobs in the workforce in cyber security,” Jones said.

The bill unanimously passed the Homeland Security Committee last week.