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Cyber expansion is revving up opportunity and excitement for future cyber students

(WRDW)
Published: Nov. 28, 2017 at 8:05 PM EST
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Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017

(News 12 at 6 O’clock/NBC 26 News at 7)

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – The walls of the Hull McKnight Cyber Innovation and Training Center aren't even up yet and already the state has outgrown the space.

Adding a second facility to their vision. Bringing the state investment into one property up to 95 million dollars.

“It's not every day that you get to see an actual on-hand lab that's dedicated only to cybersecurity. It's very cool,” said Ricardo Lopez, a student studying in the cyber field at Augusta University.

The first building will mostly fill with government offices and classrooms. Which is why they need a second to house cybersecurity businesses and start-ups coming to Augusta.

The two will feed off each other training a workforce in one and offer business direct access to that workforce in the other with internships and co-ops for Augusta Tech and cyber institute students like Ricardo Lopez.

“They are saying it's going to allow everyone who comes into this field 100 percent full on career,” he said.

Lopez moved from Atlanta to Augusta to be at the center of cyber.

And says his programs move to downtown brings him even closer to it.

“I was yes, let's go for it,” he said.

Lopez continues, “I think it's awesome. It's not a lot of places where you get to do hands-on training with all kinds of things that are going to be with your future career. So having that is to your advantage.”

Augusta university officials say the two facilities will create an ecosystem to train a workforce around.