(Charlottesville, Va.) – Piedmont Virginia Community College announced today that the college has received a generous donation from Dominion Resources for its cybersecurity program.

The $30,000 grant provided by the Dominion Foundation supported the development of a virtual cybersecurity lab for PVCC students. The new virtual learning environment includes cutting-edge lab exercises for cybersecurity courses.

“This new cybersecurity lab will help students gain experience and the hands-on learning needed to excel in the classroom and the workplace,” said Hunter A. Applewhite, president of the Dominion Foundation. “It’s so important in today’s digitized world to have top-notch cyber protection across many businesses and industries.”

The creation of this virtual lab will allow to support more than 260 students who are in pursuit of cybersecurity skills as they seek employment in and beyond Central Virginia. Skills taught in the lab include teaching students how to follow the proper approach to collecting and protecting evidence, as well as how data is recovered, and how to follow proper incident and intrusion response. These skills not only reflect the needs of regional businesses and employers, but align with the standards set forth by the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education and will support students in obtaining industry-recognized certifications such as Network+, Security+, and Certified Ethical Hacker during their program and advanced certifications after graduation.

“Having the support of regional partners like Dominion gives us a real opportunity to create academic programs that lead to post-program employment,” said Adam Hastings, PVCC dean, business, mathematics and technology division. “Dominion has been an excellent partner across our programs here at PVCC, so much so that this year we were very excited to nominate them for a Creating Excellence Award through Virginia’s Department of Career and Technical Education.”

Following the donation, Dominion IT Infrastructure Architect Mark Shalowitz visited PVCC to tour the lab and speak with students about the importance of the cybersecurity field.

“We live in an ever-changing digital world where our dependency on technology is increasing and so are the vulnerabilities,” said Shalowitz. “Over half of the nation’s Internet traffic passes through the Virginia infrastructure. We need to develop top-notch, cybersecurity professionals to help us defend against cyber threats and protect our critical infrastructure.”

To learn more about PVCC’s cybersecurity program, visit www.pvcc.edu/cyber.