Kent State Awarded State Grant to Provide Training in Cybersecurity, Manufacturing and Healthcare

Kent State has been awarded a grant that will allow the College of Aeronautics and Engineering (CAE), the Design Innovation (DI) Initiative and the College of Applied and Technical Studies (CATS) to provide education and training in cybersecurity, manufacturing and the healthcare fields. 

The award is for a $264,000 RAPIDS 6 (Regionally Aligned Priorities in Delivering Skills) grant from the Ohio Department of Higher Education to invest in equipment that will help Kent State’s programs and colleges address workforce needs in these areas and enhance the growth of students and businesses in the region. 

Christina Bloebaum, Ph.D., dean of Kent State’s College of Aeronautics and Engineering, said RAPIDS is a very important program that helps higher education students prepare for the workforce. 

“We greatly appreciate that the state of Ohio is supporting higher education to train the much-needed workforce in these critical areas,” Bloebaum said. 

The RAPIDS 6 grant is part of a statewide capital RAPIDS initiative to assist with carrying out the strategic priorities of the Gov. Mike DeWine/ Lt. Gov. Jon Husted administration. 

“The RAPIDS program continues to be a successful way to create a pipeline of skilled workers for regional employers while strengthening Ohio's economy,” Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor Randy Gardner said. “This latest RAPIDS funding for Kent State will help students develop the skills needed for successful careers in IT, healthcare and manufacturing. I'm pleased that Gov. DeWine and legislators continue to support this important program.” 

Kent State will use the grant to purchase 24 cybersecurity computing stations with 48 associated monitors, a wire forming system, one nursing birthing simulator and one nursing human simulator. 

The cybersecurity computing stations will be in the College of Aeronautics and Engineering expansion in what will be called the cyber.domain, a collection of three teaching and research laboratories that emphasize the area of cybersecurity engineering and computer engineering technology. 

Cybersecurity skills are in high demand and the need is expected to grow by 32% in the next six years, Bloebaum said. 

“Our university and college have received accreditation from the National Security Agency as a National Center of Excellence in cyber defense,” Bloebaum said. “To have the equipment that will help us train students in the cyber engineering field is huge.” 

The wire forming system will be in the DI Hub, where students will be trained in bending and shaping wire, which is tremendously important for applications in the medical field for medical devices, consumer goods and various industrial parts, Bloebaum said. 

Students in Kent State’s College of Applied and Technical Studies will benefit from the birthing simulator at the Salem Campus and a nursing simulator at the Twinsburg Academic Center. "These high-end simulation capabilities are so important for training and workforce development," said Bloebaum.  

“There is a nursing shortage, a cybersecurity shortage and needs in manufacturing,” Bloebaum said. “Across the board we are working to help train students at a more sophisticated level so they can enter the workforce much more prepared.” 


POSTED: Friday, December 9, 2022 12:14 PM
UPDATED: Monday, February 26, 2024 10:04 PM
April McClellan-Copeland