A partnership between CACI International and the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative is helping to build a skilled cyber workforce to address the more than 60,000 open cybersecurity jobs in Virginia.

“By partnering with industry leader CACI, CCI researchers and students are able to work on real-world problems,” said Luiz DaSilva, CCI executive director. “It’s an exciting and meaningful way to learn, because students can dive into real cybersecurity challenges and get an idea of what a future career will be like. 

“CACI has supported many CCI programs, including our annual Internship FairInnovation Bootcamp, and Cyber Camp, and is a fantastic partner,” DaSilva added. “CACI’s investment in CCI will help make Virginia a global leader in cybersecurity by helping prepare our future workforce.”

Both CCI and CACI bring essential expertise to the growing partnership. 

  • CACI is headquartered in Reston, Virginia, and has 22,000 employees. The company provides expertise and technology to enterprise and mission customers in support of national security missions, and government transformation for defense, intelligence, and civilian customers.
  • CCI is an unprecedented consortium of 41 Virginia universities and colleges, with more than 320 researchers. CCI’s mission is focused on research, workforce development, and innovation at the intersection between security, autonomous systems, and intelligence. 

Academia and industry must adapt rapidly to new technologies and training techniques to enhance student skills and workforce productivity to address the every-changing cyber landscape, said Dan Bono, vice president, CACI Cyber Mission Operations. 

“Through our partnership with CCI, we are connecting directly with students and instructors to apply the latest academic principles to real-world cyber challenges and build a bridge between academia and industry,” Bono said. “CCI allows us to connect with one of the nation’s most broad and diverse talent pools, enabling us to hear new insights and ideas from across the commonwealth.” 

The partnership informs research and workforce development by directly integrating the cybersecurity challenges that industry and government face into CCI programs such as the CCI Innovation Bootcamp and CCI Cyber Camp. The annual CCI Internship Fair gives students from across the commonwealth the opportunity to meet officials from CACI as well as other employers. 

“As cyberthreats evolve and proliferate at a rapid pace, so does the need for more talented and experienced cyber defenders and operators,” said Todd Probert, president of National Security and Innovative Solutions at CACI. “Programs such as these are critical to training and developing the future of our national security workforce across a range of difficult challenges we face in an era of converging cyber operations. We are proud to partner with CCI to support important programs like these that develop the modern workforce of the future.”

The CACI-CCI partnership is forward-looking, Bono said.

“Continuing this partnership will enhance the depth and breadth of future talent and drive how students transition and enter the workforce, vigilant and prepared to address our nation’s most complex cyber security challenges,” said Bono, who spoke  at the CCI-hosted Virginia Academy of Science, Engineering, and Medicine 2022 Summit on Oct. 25.  

Pat McShea, CACI program manager, conducts a mock interview with a student.
Pat McShea, CACI program manager, conducts a mock interview with a student, an exercise intended to help new graduates present their best selves at a job interview. CACI has supported such CCI programs as the annual Internship Fair, Innovation Bootcamp, and Cyber Camp. Photo by Ron Aira for CCI.