Safal Partners Awarded $10 Million U.S. Department of Labor Contract, Partnership with Cyber Future Foundation to Meet Cybersecurity Industry Workforce Shortage

HOUSTON, Nov. 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Safal Partners, a nationally-recognized workforce and education firm and sponsor of a cybersecurity registered apprenticeship program, announced that it has been awarded a $10 million, five-year contract from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and recognized as a national cybersecurity industry intermediary. Under the contract Safal will increase the number of skilled, credentialed cybersecurity workers by expanding employer-based registered apprenticeship opportunities nationwide.

Safal partnered with the Cyber Future Foundation (CFF) on the contract and made the announcement during CFF’s annual Cyber Future Summit, a global convening of cybersecurity industry employers, stakeholders and futurists. The announcement was also timed with the release of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) five-year strategic plan and in advance of DOL’s National Apprenticeship Week (November 8-14, 2020).

“The cybersecurity industry is critical to the safety and strength of the American economy but has a large and growing workforce shortage,” said Mukta Pandit, President of Safal Partners. According to a 2019 (ISC)2 report, the cybersecurity industry workforce would need to grow by 62 percent to meet pre-COVID demand. “This contract builds on our expertise developing education-based workforce solutions for employers. We will scale our DOL approved registered apprenticeship program nationally to provide employers with a competency-based, industry-aligned solution for their workforce shortage and employee skills gaps.”

Registered apprenticeship is a proven model for workforce recruiting, development and retention. It provides workers with an “earn and learn” model to gain critically-needed occupational skills while contributing to the employers’ bottom line. According to DOL the apprenticeship model also benefits employers with reduced worker turnover, increased productivity, positive ROI and diversification of the workforce. Safal will utilize the industry-driven Cyber Workforce Development Program model proposed by the CFF Global Commission on Cybersecurity Education to implement this contract.

“COVID-19 exponentially accelerated the demand on cybersecurity with schools shifting to all-virtual learning, consumers relying almost solely on e-commerce, and the majority of American workers pivoting to work from home,” noted CFF Chairman & Founder Valmiki Mukherjee. “Developing effective apprenticeship models enables us to drive increased value to partner employers and aligns with the just-released NICE strategy which focuses on increasing career awareness, facilitating performance-based competency assessments, and accelerating development of workforce training programs.”

Safal will work with CFF over the next five years to build employer-driven apprenticeship programs that register 750 American workers annually, with a focus on expanding the diversity of the industry’s current talent pool by increasing the number of women and people of color as well as Veterans working as cybersecurity technicians and professionals. The Safal cyber apprenticeship team will provide employers with free expert technical assistance, talent recruiting and screening services, basic cybersecurity and employability skills training, and strategic assistance in diversity and equity planning.

Employers, educators, and workforce intermediaries interested in partnering with Safal Partners to develop cybersecurity apprenticeship opportunities please contact Leah Mclean at or Katie Adams at

FOR REFERENCE: USDOL press release:

About Safal Partners
Safal Partners is a nationally-recognized education and workforce consulting firm that helps clients bridge the gap between ideas and outcomes. As an 8(a) certified, woman- and minority-owned small business, Safal equips clients to improve student results and provide practical solutions for education and workforce development programs. Safal has deep experience working with a full range of federal and state partners, including the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Labor, and U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA).

About Cyber Future Foundation
Cyber Future Foundation (CFF), is a Dallas, Texas, based 501(c)(3) non-profit. CFF’s mission is to provide guidance and certification for educational programs in cybersecurity world-wide, contribute to the development of effective public policies in cybersecurity, create a platform for developing trust in cyber space, serve as a super-connector for global cybersecurity thought leaders and catalyze collaborative efforts through its network of alliances, organizations, and public-private partnerships. Please visit our website at: