RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam announced that registration is now open for the 2019 Girls Go CyberStart program, which aims to support and inspire high school girls across Virginia to explore careers in cybersecurity and computer science.
“As a national leader in the cybersecurity and technology industry it is vital that we encourage Virginia students to take advantage of opportunities to explore cybersecurity and computer science,” said Governor Northam. “The 2019 Girls Go CyberStart program provides early experience that positions young women across the Commonwealth to step into valuable roles and careers after college.”
The Girls Go CyberStart program is an online game consisting of a series of challenges that put students in the role of a cyber protection agent charged with solving realistic problems and puzzles. It is designed to explore relevant and exciting topics such as cryptography and digital forensics.
The program is open to girls in grades 9 through 12. Students can participate at both home and at school, or wherever an Internet connection is available. Participating students (and their teachers) do not need knowledge or experience in IT or cybersecurity to participate. The program is free for schools and students.
“Over the last 20 years, the educational infrastructure for cybersecurity and technology related jobs has continued to become more robust across Virginia communities,” said Secretary of Administration Keyanna Conner. “As the need for young, bright, vibrant talent only increases in these high-paying, sustainable jobs, programs such as these continue to offer talented young women the opportunity to learn about the industry and compete in a highly competitive field.”
“The more we are able to offer incredible programs like Girls Go CyberStart that introduce talented young women to careers in STEM, and more specifically cybersecurity, the better,” said Secretary of Education Atif Qarni. “Real time learning opportunities outside the classroom complement the education that our students already receive during the school day.”
More than 6,600 young women in 16 states participated in the Girls Go CyberStart program in 2018—the first year the program was offered. The program increased participant interest in cyber careers to 70 percent, an increase of more than 30 percent from before the program.
Registration for Girls Go CyberStart is now open, with online gaming commencing on March 20. Additional details can be found at www.girlsgocyberstart.org.
The three high schools in Virginia with the most participants will receive awards of $1,000, $750 and $500. High schools with at least five girls who complete six or more challenges earn the right for both boys and girls to use the CyberStart game for the remainder of the school year.
Girl Scout Troops across the Commonwealth are being asked to share information about the Girls Go Cyberstart program. High schools are encouraged to promote the program and participation.
Both male and female college students in Virginia are invited to participate in the Cyber FastTrack game. Students excelling in the Cyber FastTrack game will be eligible to win a share of $2.5 million in scholarships for advanced cybersecurity training, and introductions to employers for jobs and internships in the field.
College students can pre-register for Cyber FastTrack track today. Registration continues through April 5, when play begins. More information can be found at.
Statement of the Lieutenant Governor Earle-Sears – Dobbs v. Jackson Decision
The Lieutenant Governor supports the Governor’s actions to ensure the safety of the Supreme Court justices and their loved ones. “We support the First Amendment and the right to protest peacefully but not at the expense of the safety of others. We are a civilized society. The baby in the womb wants to live. We ask for God’s protection for our commonwealth and our country”, stated Winsome Earle-Sears in the decision for Dobbs v. Jackson.
Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization argued this term before the Supreme Court, will determine the constitutionality of a state’s right to make laws allowing or prohibiting abortion. This case was heard in reference to legislation passed by the state of Mississippi: the Gestational Age Act (HB 1510), prohibiting most abortions at 15 weeks of pregnancy.
“Today, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Dobbs, giving power back to the states to make decisions on abortion. The court has recognized that the 1973 decision was an example of judicial and federal overreach. The important question of abortion has now been returned to statehouses across the country, in order for them to make their own policy decisions- which is exactly what the founding fathers envision when they wrote the 10th amendment to the Constitution. I applaud the Court for recognizing this wrong and having the courage to correct it. I look forward to working with the Governor and the General Assembly in the next legislative session on legislation that respects life,” the Lieutenant Governor added.
“The 10th Amendment to the Constitution says, ‘The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.’ This ruling supports this amendment.”
Governor Glenn Youngkin statement on Supreme Court’s Dobbs Ruling announcement
RICHMOND, VA – Governor Glenn Youngkin released the following statement today on the Supreme Court’s Dobbs ruling announcement:
“The Supreme Court of the United States has rightfully returned power to the people and their elected representatives in the states. I’m proud to be a pro-life Governor and plan to take every action I can to protect life. The truth is, Virginians want fewer abortions, not more abortions. We can build a bipartisan consensus on protecting the life of unborn children, especially when they begin to feel pain in the womb, and importantly supporting mothers and families who choose life. That’s why I’ve asked Senator Siobhan Dunnavant, Senator Steve Newman, Delegate Kathy Byron and Delegate Margaret Ransone to join us in an effort to bring together legislators and advocates from across the Commonwealth on this issue to find areas where we can agree and chart the most successful path forward. I’ve asked them to do the important work needed and be prepared to introduce legislation when the General Assembly returns in January,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin.
Attorney General Miyares argues Congress to take action to protect children on THC look-alike products
Attorney General Jason Miyares submitted a bipartisan letter to Congress, joined by 21 other attorneys general, urging them to take action regarding copycat tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly knowns as THC, food, and edibles. These products are designed to look like popular snack items and have increased accidental THC consumption by children.
On June 16, the FDA issued a warning that between Jan. 1 – May 31, 2022, the National Poison Control Center received 10,448 single substance exposure cases involving edible products containing THC. Of these cases 77% involved patients 19 years of age or younger.
THC is a psychoactive substance found in Cannabis plants. Widely available, and easily mistaken for name-brand snacks such as Oreo cookies, Doritos chips, Cheetos, NERDs, and more, THC copycat products often are unintentionally given to children or mistaken by children for the brand name snack products, resulting in unsuspecting children ingesting large amounts of THC.
“As THC-infused edibles become commonplace, some distributors have started advertising their products to look like popular candy and snack items. Their deceiving appearance and packaging can confuse young children who come across them and have led to an increase in accidental consumption, putting their health at risk. To address this growing issue, I’m urging Congress, with a bipartisan coalition, for a comprehensive legislative solution,” said Attorney General Miyares.
“As states across the country, including my own, take steps to legalize and regulate cannabis, rules have been put in place to protect children from unwitting consumption,” said co-lead Nevada Attorney General Ford. “However, there are those who attempt to work around these rules. Copycat products that mimic snacks and candy trademarks can entice children, leading to situations that can threaten their health and safety. We urge Congress to pass legislation granting these trademark holders the legal tools needed to hold these counterfeiters accountable.”
“Tackling the proliferation of online THC copycat edible sales and their potential harm to children requires a layered approach from all stakeholders, from law enforcement and policymakers to regulators and consumer groups, to be effective in reining in this health and safety issue. Consumer Brands welcomes the dedicated efforts of Attorney General Miyares to be a leader in bringing attention and action to this issue,” said Stacy Papadopoulous, Consumer Brand Association.
The attorneys general state that while they do not all agree on the best regulatory scheme for cannabis and THC, they all agree on one thing: copycat THC edibles pose a grave risk to the health, safety, and welfare of our children.
The attorneys general believe that Congress should immediately enact legislation authorizing trademark holders of well-known and trusted consumer packaged goods to hold accountable those malicious actors who are marketing illicit copycat THC edibles to children.
Attorneys General from Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, and Washington joined Attorney General Miyares’ letter.
Attorney General Miyares announces $1.25 million multistate settlement over 2019 Carnival Cruise Line data breach
RICHMOND, VA – Attorney General Jason Miyares announced that his office, along with 45 other attorneys general, has obtained a $1.25 million multistate settlement with Carnival Cruise Line stemming from a 2019 data breach that involved the personal information of approximately 180,000 Carnival employees and customers. Over 3,000 Virginia residents were impacted by this breach. The Commonwealth’s share of the settlement is $25,048.05.
In March 2020, Carnival publicly reported a data breach in which an unauthorized actor gained access to certain Carnival employee e-mail accounts and personal information. Breach notifications sent to attorneys general offices stated that Carnival first became aware of suspicious email activity in late May of 2019—approximately 10 months before Carnival reported the breach.
“It is imperative that businesses that collect or maintain sensitive personal information take every precaution to keep that information secure,” Attorney General Miyares said. “This matter also highlights the importance of promptly notifying the relevant government agencies and consumers when personal information is compromised, and I am pleased that we were able to reach a fair and reasonable settlement that addresses the conduct at issue.”
Under the settlement, Carnival has agreed to a series of provisions designed to strengthen its email security and breach response practices going forward. While there is no consumer restitution under this particular settlement, the settlement contains important injunctive provisions aimed to curb lax information security practices that led to the breach such as:
- Implementation and maintenance of a breach response and notification plan;
- Email security training requirements for employees, including dedicated phishing exercises;
- Multi-factor authentication for remote email access;
- Password policies and procedures requiring the use of strong, complex passwords, password rotation, and secure password storage;
- Maintenance of enhanced behavior analytics tools to log and monitor potential security events on the company’s network; and
- Consistent with past data breach settlements, undergoing an independent information security assessment.
The settlement, in the form of an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance, will be filed for approval with the Henrico County Circuit Court.
Governor Glenn Youngkin announces Hanley Energy to expand in Virginia, creating 343 new jobs
RICHMOND, VA – Governor Glenn Youngkin today announced that Hanley Energy, Irish-owned global innovators in Critical Power and Energy Management solutions, will invest $8 million to expand its Hanley Energy Electrical division in Loudoun County. The company will open a new facility at 44381 Russell Branch Parkway in Ashburn to meet the increasing demand for installation and service of its equipment serving the growing data center market. The project will create 343 new jobs, including electricians and apprentice electricians.
“Virginia has emerged as one of North America’s premier locations for technology and Loudoun County is the epicenter of the data center industry. This contribution is a perfect fit for Hanley Energy and its vital services that keep this sector growing,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “From establishing its U.S. headquarters and expanding its Hanley Energy Electrical division, the company continues to grow its footprint in the Commonwealth and reinforce our many industry advantages.”
“Hanley Energy chose Virginia as the site of its U.S. headquarters more than five years ago, thanks to Loudoun County’s global reputation as a data center destination,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick. “The company’s decision to again expand its capacity is a testament to the region’s business climate, infrastructure, and strong tech talent pipeline, which continues to attract and retain high-caliber corporate partners. We thank Hanley Energy for its continued investment and creating 343 quality jobs in Loudoun County.”
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Governor Youngkin for taking the time to speak with senior leadership of Hanley Energy recently,” said Hanley Energy CEO, Clive Gilmore. “We are greatly looking forward to moving into our new facility next month. This impressive facility will increase our output, range of products, and services to our ever-growing U.S. market. Additionally, I am delighted to announce that this manufacturing facility will expand our workforce by a further 300 + staff. Another ‘Good News’ story for Virginia and Loudoun County.”
“It’s been incredibly exciting to watch Hanley Energy grow in Loudoun, from establishing their U.S. headquarters here in 2016 with 20 employees through this expansion to a new location and 343 new jobs. Hanley has been able to leverage the density of ‘Data Center Alley’ into a thriving and growing business,” said Loudoun Economic Development Executive Director Buddy Rizer. “Clive Gilmore and his team have been great community partners, and we appreciate their continued investment in Loudoun County.”
“I’m thrilled that Hanley Energy has chosen Loudoun County to expand their operations, bringing 343 skilled jobs to the region,” said Senator John J. Bell. “We have a highly skilled workforce in Northern Virginia and this development will continue to provide opportunities and experience in a rapidly growing industry. We are thankful for Hanley Energy’s continued investment in the 13th Senate District!”
“We’re excited to have Hanley Energy expand in Loudoun’s Data Center Alley! Their decision to make another investment in Loudoun, creating 343 new jobs, highlights that Loudoun is still one of the top destinations for data centers in the nation,” said Delegate David Reid. “With over 70% of the world’s internet traffic flowing through Loudoun’s data centers, our nearby D.C. Wine Country in western Loudoun, and our diverse communities, Hanley Energy will continue to find a welcoming environment.”
Hanley Energy are global innovators in Critical Power and Energy Management solutions with a stable of world-class engineers. The company has been operating at its headquarters in Ireland for 13 years and established its United States headquarters in Loudoun County in 2016. Hanley Energy Electrical, which is the service arm of Hanley Energy, opened in 2020.
The company’s core capabilities cover the design, build, and commission of turnkey mission-critical solutions, delivering secure and reliable power from the grid all the way to the Hyperscale Data Center IT rack. Hanley Energy’s advisory capability guides customers through the challenges of technology transformation, allowing the realization of operational efficiencies underpinned by lifecycle management, service, and maintenance. In this way, the company enables its clients to effectively manage energy strategy, ensure 100% up-time, and optimize operational competitiveness. Hanley Energy’s approach is to develop trusted partnerships with clients as a specialist integrator, ensuring excellent delivery coupled with cost-effective technology solutions.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Loudoun County to secure the project for Virginia and will support Hanley Energy’s job creation through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP), which provides consultative services and funding to companies creating new jobs in order to support employee recruitment and training activities. As a business incentive supporting economic development, VJIP reduces the human resource costs of new and expanding companies. VJIP is state-funded, demonstrating Virginia’s commitment to enhancing job opportunities for citizens.
Governor Glenn Youngkin celebrates signing of Virginia State Budget
On June 21, 2022, Governor Glenn Youngkin ceremonially signed the Virginia State Budget, which delivers on his promise to provide tax relief for Virginian families, increase funding for law enforcement, and support the development of lab schools, among other key initiatives of his Day One Game Plan.
“Every day we have worked hard to build a more prosperous Virginia, with greater opportunity for future generations,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “Together, we enacted historic tax cuts and made record investments in education and public safety. Together, we stood for greater accountability and transparency in government. And together, we are building an opportunity society, where Virginians can find the jobs they are looking for right here in the Commonwealth. This has always been about the movement we created together. It’s the people who sent us all to Richmond who make this Virginia we love so great.”
“I’m very proud of the budget that we have put forward. The end result is not only a structurally-balanced budget that protects our AAA bond rating, but a budget that funds our priorities while simultaneously providing tax relief,” said Delegate Barry Knight, House Appropriations Committee Chair. “No new general fund debt, no tax hikes, no higher fees. It’s a budget we can all be proud of.”
“After months of effort, we have successfully completed the state budget process. Working together across party lines, we have made historic investments in our educational system from preschool through grad school, mental health services, economic development programs, and our park systems,” said Senator Janet Howell, Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee Chair.” We have also made unprecedented additions to our reserves, thus protecting our AAAaaa bond rating.”
The final Virginia State Budget includes many critical initiatives to ensure Virginia is the best state to live, work, and raise a family, including:
Cutting Costs For Virginians
- Provides almost $4 billion in tax relief to Virginians
- The largest tax relief in Virginia history
- Eliminates the 1.5% state grocery tax
- Nearly doubles the standard deduction to $8,000 for single filers and $16,000 for joint
- Gives every Virginia taxpayer a tax rebate of $250 for single filers and $500 for joint
- Exempts $40,000 of veteran retirement income tax for veterans over 55
Restoring Excellence In Education
- Boosts education spending to the largest level in Virginia history with $3.2 billion in direct aid
- Raises teacher pay by 10%
- Provides $100 million to launch lab schools with colleges, including community colleges and HBCUs
- Provides almost $900 million in funding to Virginia’s HBCUs
- Funds the Virginia Literacy Act with nearly $10 million
- Puts $7 million towards reading specialists to coach our students who are furthest behind
- $1.25 billion in grants and loans to support school construction
- Requires each public college to adopt an official policy on academic freedom and begin reporting on the state of free expression and diversity of thought on their campus
Keeping Our Communities Safe
- Provides $45 million to fund school resource officers
- Establishes $13 million for violence prevention grants including Operation Ceasefire
- Provides $400 million in compensation and additional support for our law enforcement and public safety heroes
- Prevents the early release of over 500 violent inmates
Reinvigorating Job Growth And Making Government Work for You
- Invests $150 million in site development to attract job creators
- $10 million to support transformation initiatives at the DMV, the Virginia Employment Commission, and other state agencies
The re-enrolled Virginia State Budget for Fiscal Year 2023 and Fiscal Year 2024, HB 30, will be formally enrolled in the Acts of Assembly this week.