This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

TOWN AND COUNTRY, MO (KTVI) – Maryville University announced Tuesday it will debut a new cyber security services and education program. This is being made possible through a three-year grant from the PNC Foundation.

The program is called Protect and Connect. It will provide free cyber security training to T-REX and Cortex start-ups and train diverse students in coding.

Cyber security and coding jobs are in high demand.

“There are 500,000 jobs in coding in U.S., but only 40,000 are filled right now and the cyber security unemployment rate is minus 4 percent,” said Mark Lombardi, president of Maryville University.

Those are staggering statistics that Mark Lombardi sees. The school is now trying to position themselves for the future.

“Companies over the region tell me we need people in cyber security and coding because we can’t find people to fill those jobs,” he said.

With PNC Bank’s $435,000 grant, training for local start-ups and Riverview Gardens middle and high school students is made possible and everyone benefits.

“This is a way we can leverage the strength of Maryville, serve people, the underserved, educate children, bring in community and make our town better for startups,” said Michael Scully, regional president of PNC Bank.

Not only does Maryville get a state of the art cyber fusion center where students provide cyber security services at no charge for local non-profits, students at Riverview Gardens learn the trade for future success.

“We have identified students in middle school and high school, that this is a niche for them,” said Scott Spurgeon, superintendent of Riverview Gardens. “When you love coming to work every day and love what you do, it makes you want to get up and do great things for whomever you work for and who your clients might be.”

Riverview currently has about 200 students going to the Maryville campus to start the coding process and expand the coding piece they have been working this past semester.