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Newport Tech Business Launches Cyber Security Camp for Students

Nexigen, a cyber-security firm located in Newport, has created Tech Defenders Camp, a program designed to introduce young students to one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S. - cyber security.

“We believe it is incredibly important to give back to our community in every way possible,” said Jon Salisbury, co-founder of Nexigen. “With the growing demand for technology-based jobs, and a skilled, young and enthusiastic work force, this seemed liked a perfect way to close that skills gap in our region and improve the career prospects for Greater Cincinnati’s youth.”

Cincinnati Bell Business, which serves small and medium-sized businesses in the region, is helping sponsor the Tech Defenders Camp.

The camp began at two schools in January of this year and consisted of weekly lessons that covered building a computer, installing an operating system, networking with routers and firewalls, seeing the inside of a data center, and working with a server.

The camp concluded with the High School Cyber Security Games, where students applied the lessons they have learned throughout the year in a competition that was held on March 31. Teams that competed in these games were coached and judged by Nexigen staff, Northern Kentucky University (NKU) faculty and students, and members of the local community.

“This camp is a phenomenal opportunity for the students. We are so excited at the opportunity to have this launch across the entire region,” said Russ Middleton, VP of client relations at Nexigen. “Students are given applicable experience that they can carry with them through college and into their careers.”

Cincinnati Bell Business has a strategic partnership with Nexigen and is providing course material and employees to help teach and mentor the students.

“Cincinnati Bell has a long-standing tradition of community service, and we are proud to support Nexigen in this important initiative,” said Greg Wheeler, a senior vice president at Cincinnati Bell who leads Cincinnati Bell Business.

“It’s critical that we develop a pipeline of IT students and expose them to technology companies and opportunities in Greater Cincinnati. This innovative program is a win for these students, and a win for Nexigen and Cincinnati Bell Business."

Students were judged on their passion, participation, and teamwork in the cyber defense games. 

“The Tech Defenders Camp is one aspect of an outward reaching initiative,” Salisbury said. “We hope to grow the camp beyond Newport and improve the lives of students across our region and the nation.”

- Staff report/Image provided