Chattanooga, TN (November 9, 2019) – Fifteen students from Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy (CGLA) took another step toward preparing themselves for careers in technology as they gathered at EPB to represent Chattanooga in an international cybersecurity tournament called MAGIC Capture the Flag. Chattanooga State also served as a host location and joined CGLA in competing with teams located across the United States and as far away as Estonia.
The competition consisted of solving a series of computer puzzles that simulate the skills required for technical professions.
According to Steve Morrison, EPB Director of Information Security, EPB Fiber Optics sponsored the five, all-girl student teams from CGLA as part of a larger effort to encourage the development of local tech talent, especially among young women who are under-represented in tech fields. “At EPB, we believe that technical preparation strengthens the local economy by helping young people access well-paid, in-demand careers,” Morrison said. “At the same time, EPB is looking to the next generation of tech professionals as we continue to strengthen our ability to serve our customers and the local community.”
“Today has been eye-opening,” said Zapouria Wadley, a senior at CGLA. “It feels good because we’ve been able to work independently and figure out things on our own.”
Prior to the competition, the CGLA students have been participating in a weekly coding curriculum led by EPB volunteers including Blair Brown, EPB Systems Engineer II. “We’re teaching them coding languages like Java Script and Python along with other technical skills,” Brown said. “Many of these students had never considered a career in technology before. Now, they’re realizing that they can learn skills that will open many new opportunities for them.”
The event is organized by the Mid-Atlantic Gigabit Innovation Collaboratory (MAGIC) to enhance workforce development for technology companies, particularly in the cybersecurity industry.
Photo Caption (Left to Right): Zapouria Wadley (CGLA, 12th Grade), Mike Cathey (EPB), Steve Morrison (EPB), Christen Bonner (CGLA, 12th Grade), and Blair Brown (EPB).
EPB serves the greater Chattanooga area by providing world-class energy and connectivity solutions as a means of promoting economic development and enhancing quality of life for our community. We deliver electricity to more than 170,000 homes and businesses across our 600 square mile service area which includes most of Hamilton County as well as parts of surrounding counties in both Tennessee and Georgia. In 2010, EPB Fiber Optics, which offers internet, TV, and telephone services, became the first provider in the United States to deliver up to 1 Gig (1,000 Mbps) internet speeds utilizing a community-wide fiber optic network which is accessible to every home and business in its service area. In 2015, EPB became the first, and to date, only American ISP to make up to 10 Gig (10,000 Mbps) internet speeds accessible to all of its residential and commercial customers as a standard offer.
EPB has also utilized its community-wide fiber optic network to deploy the most advanced and highly automated smart grid power management system in the nation. In recognition of EPB’s groundbreaking infrastructure, the Department of Energy and Oak Ridge National Laboratory are utilizing EPB’s smart grid as a national model for researching and developing best practices. EPB is also the first major power distribution utility to earn the USGBC’s PEER certification for having a highly automated, modernized electric power grid.
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