SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Congressman Richard Neal announced federal funding for Springfield Technical Community College on Tuesday.

The funding is for a new Cyber Security Center at Springfield Union Station. This $3 million center will bring new training and job opportunities to Union Station and STCC students. The funding was because of Congressionally Direct Spending (CDS) from the Department of Education, and Congressman Neal included funding for this project in the Fiscal Year 2023 spending bill that was signed into law in December 2022, according to a news release from the office of Richard Neal.

There will be two phases to the center, the first one being the cyber-range phase, which is for training purposes. The second phase is the Security Operations Center (SOC), which will manage security for different businesses and municipalities.

Congressman Neal announced that this has been a multi-year planning effort to help end the threats of cyber security and getting hacked. The new center is estimated to be ready in one year.

“The threats facing our nation at both the national and local level are significant, and having the cutting-edge technology capable of countering these threats is of the utmost importance,” said Congressman Neal. “Union Station has become a world-class intermodal transportation hub for the Greater Springfield community, and it will now serve as home to a state-of-the-art cybersecurity training center. This will give the brightest young minds in our region the resources they need to combat these threats, ultimately expanding the region’s skilled workforce and shoring up the resiliency of our cybersecurity in western Massachusetts and beyond.”

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno stated, “I want to thank Congressman Richard Neal, who was once a mayor always the heart of a mayor, who continues to provide exemplary leadership for our Springfield and Union Station.  This $3 million will support STCC and the transformative and dynamic Cybersecurity Center of Excellence at our historic Union Station, which supports my administration’s workforce development objectives around cybersecurity initiatives by promoting diversity and supporting more of that good four-letter word, JOBS!”

“Congressman Richard E. Neal has again delivered, and STCC could not be more thrilled to partner in the launching of a Cybersecurity Center of Excellence for Western Massachusetts,” said STCC President John B. Cook. “We are tremendously grateful for these federal dollars which provide a unique investment in students, community college, and the workforce needs of a key sector. Thank you, Congressman Neal, for championing Union Station and helping build our local cyber resiliency.”

“The Springfield Redevelopment Authority congratulates STCC on their award and is excited to welcome the CCE here at Union Station,” said Amanda Pham, Executive Director of the Springfield Redevelopment Authority. “This endeavor would not have been possible without the support from our federal and state partners. We thank Congressman Neal for his continued support of this effort by way of this transformative award. This center will strengthen cybersecurity resilience in Western MA while empowering our workforce to meet the needs of this evolving industry. Western Mass is home to many higher education institutions and we are encouraged by the collaborative partnerships being made – all to better the lives of our students and community at large.”

The project will bring together a consortium of higher education institutions, businesses, civic leaders, and facility professionals. The new center will provide valuable hands-on training and professional opportunities for students to develop a career in the cyber workforce and will be part of the Massachusetts Cybersecurity Consortium.

This project is one of the fifteen CDS projects that was submitted by Congressman Neal, which totaled over $20 million in investments throughout the First Congressional District of Massachusetts.

The new center is estimated to be ready in one year.