New “abilIT” Program Trains People of Differing Abilities and Injured Veterans for Jobs in Cybersecurity

New “abilIT” Program Trains People of Differing Abilities and Injured Veterans for Jobs in Cybersecurity

December 20, 2018

UPPER MARLBORO, MD, Dec 20, 2018 – Melwood, one of the nation’s largest employers of people of differing abilities, is embarking on an innovative new project to provide cybersecurity and wraparound professional development training to injured veterans and people of differing abilities.

The “abilIT” pilot program launches early next year in Arlington, VA, and is actively recruiting people of differing abilities and injured veterans for its inaugural class. The 12-week program will prepare students to sit for several of the certification exams needed for entry-level cybersecurity jobs. It will also support students by developing skills necessary to succeed in today’s employment environment including interviewing, resume development, corporate professionalism, and job retention. These wraparound services have been the cornerstone of Melwood’s success for 55 years. Through partnerships with industry leaders, students will also have access to job shadowing and mentorship opportunities from cybersecurity experts.

“People of differing abilities represent one of the most promising and readily available cybersecurity workforce pipelines in the nation,” says Cari DeSantis, Melwood’s President and CEO. “We have two problems that can solve each other: under-employment of people of differing abilities and the inability to fill tech jobs.”

According to the Department of Commerce, the U.S. is on pace to hit a half million or more unfilled cybersecurity positions by 2021. However, only four out of 10 people of differing abilities are employed and 30 million American adults of differing abilities struggle to find employment opportunities.

Melwood has partnered with Cybrary, the provider of the nation’s largest massive open online course in cybersecurity. Cybrary is an industry leader in cybersecurity training and has donated their services to this pilot program.

If you, or someone you know, would benefit from the abilIT program, visit

About Melwood

Melwood is one of the largest employers of people with disabilities in the country, employing more than 1,600 workers – nearly 1,000 of whom are people with disabilities. Melwood offers job placement, job training, life skills for independence, and support services to more than 2,500 people each year in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Melwood also has an inclusive summer camp program for children and provides employment and support services to veterans and active-duty military members who have experienced service-related trauma or injury. For more information, visit

Media Inquiries

Jewelyn Cosgrove
Vice President of Government and Public Relations
O: 240-846-3952
[email protected]


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