Local tech companies donate to new cyber technology magnet school

Alabama School of Cyber Technology and Engineering will be in Huntsville by 2020
Published: Jun. 6, 2019 at 7:38 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The Alabama School of Cyber Technology and Engineering will be the only school of its kind in the nation.

“That’s where Huntsville, Madison County, the state of Alabama is going to be a leader by pioneering this effort among our young people, and preparing the workers for the 21st century in the emerging fields of cyber technology,” State Senator Arthur Orr said.

The residential magnet school will provide educational opportunities in cyber technology and engineering for students in grades seven through 12.

Orr has been pushing for this school and the funding for cyber programs.

“We truly want a world class institution that is unrivaled, and to be a leader in preparing young people to be the best that they can be,” Orr explained.

With a knowledge-based economy here in North Alabama, having the magnet school in Huntsville is no coincidence.

Huntsville city business relations officer, Harrison Diamond, says the school will be a tremendous opportunity.

“We felt that it was very important to try to create some type of opportunity for students to go into those fields,” Diamond said.

Companies are lining up to donate to this innovative school.

Thursday, Davidson Technologies donated $250,000 to promote cyber learning-based growth.

Torch Technologies also contributed $100,000.

“The Chamber is very focused on these key skill sets that we just can’t seem to find enough of,” Graham Foster with Davidson Technologies said.

The school will act as a pipeline, connecting high school students to jobs right here in the region.

“If you can grow those organically, which the school is targeting, you can retain them and they’re more likely to stay here, and service the need that we have here for a lot of cyber talent,” Foster continued.

Foster is also part of the team that created ‘A Smart Place.’

A Smart Place is an online tool developed by the Huntsville Chamber Foundation that also addresses the growing talent gap for cyber security skills and other growth industries for the region.

“It shows snippets of videos and shows what people in the professional field do,” Foster explains.

He says it’s a resource for students to be able to be introduced to the workforce early. Foster says by targeting students and educating them on a micro-level, it helps drive their passion for what they really want to do.

ntegrating into school systems, snipets of videos and shows what a profession looks like targets key

The school plans to open its doors in August 2020.

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