Announced today at the White House as the kickoff to Smart Cities Week in Washington, the Smart Cities Council Challenge Grants program will help five different cities around the country apply smart technologies to improve urban livability, workability and sustainability. In all, the Obama Administration is committing over $80 million in new federal investments and a doubling of the number of participating cities and communities, exceeding 70 in total.
"CompTIA has focused on smart city policy issues at both the federal and state levels, working to ensure that we have right combination of technologies, policies, procurement strategies and workers to promote smart city growth," said David Logsdon, senior director, public sector, CompTIA. "We feel strongly that the smart growth of cities will help drive economic expansion, innovation and opportunity for our citizens."
Also as part of Smart Cities Week, Elizabeth Hyman, CompTIA's executive vice president of public advocacy, will participate in a panel discussion on "Planning for the Smart City of the Future" at 11 a.m. (EDT) Thursday, September 29. She will share information from CompTIA's latest research on state, local and federal government perceptions of the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart cities.
"Many government officials are bullish on the potential of IoT to deliver better services to constituents and do so with value in mind," Hyman said. She noted that 11 percent of government entities surveyed claim to have formal IoT initiatives underway, while 25 percent report some type of pilot program in the works.
"While there certainly are many factors to greater adoption, the need for workforce training and education may be paramount," she said. "The jobs required to build and operate the infrastructure of smart cities require an array of skills. Many such jobs will not require four year college degrees, but simply good training and credentialing. Policy makers and employers need to be fully invested in preparing our workforce now."
CompTIA has pledged the following to each of the five award winning cities:
- Fifty complimentary vouchers for CompTIA's skills certification exams for use by each city's IT workforce. CompTIA is the leading provider of vendor-neutral skills certifications for the global technology workforce. These certifications validate technical and business skills in cloud computing, mobility, Linux, networking, security, storage, help desk and technical support, servers, project management and other mission-critical technologies.
- Complimentary licenses for CompTIA CyberSecure™, a self-paced, online course designed to educate everyone in the workplace – from the front desk receptionist to the chief executive – on the cybersecurity best practices that are vital to protecting any organization.
- A keynote panel session involving the five cities at either the CompTIA Annual Member Meeting or ChannelCon, the IT channel's premier gathering for education, networking and training. Each event is regularly attended by hundreds of the technology industry's thought leaders.
- Each city will be highlighted in the 2017 edition of CompTIA's Cyberstates report, a comprehensive annual state-by-state analysis of the size and scope of the U.S. tech industry and tech workforce.
- City leaders will be invited to contribute guest articles and commentary for CompTIA's bi-weekly advocacy and quarterly State and Local Government and Education Council newsletters.
"We look forward to working with the Smart City Council on this important endeavor and we are thankful of the council's support to accelerate the smart cities market," Logsdon said.
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