CLARKSVILLE — A new, charitable enterprise has opened in Clarksville, focused entirely on increasing information technology.
Cyber Solutions Independent Consultant Agency starts with the goal of making the Red River County area not only more secure on the web but more informed as well.
“We have two companies, one is a .com and the other is a .org,” said creator and director Lloyd, who for security reasons, did not want his last name printed. “The .com is actually what supports the .org, and the .org makes its request, which is, it’s kind of a transparent — for us — because all the assets, all the resources. The .com supports the .org in providing physical resources, non-physical resources such as assets, computer systems, antennas, things of that nature.”
Through a self-perpetuating partnership, the office at 203 S. Walnut St. is split into two parts: a wireless internet service provider, called a WISP, and a nonprofit aimed at teaching information technology and cyber security. He said those who follow the full coursework can earn certifications that can lead to remote jobs.
“One of our goals is to take care of rural America, and help rural America work remote-related jobs by teaching them cybersecurity, and then when they want to get advanced, then that’s actually for a fee, but the initial is not, and it is free,” Lloyd said. “The interesting point about that is in rural America, like small places like Clarksville, the median income here is $32,000. The beginning cybersecurity specialist starts at $40K.”
The goal is to help residents get jobs in remote work, which means the incoming money doesn’t leave town. Typically with cyber training, once receiving certification, the graduate moves to where the jobs are. Working remotely, that isn’t necessary.
“They stay local; they don’t have to move, they stay and do remote work in IT, technology and cybersecurity,” Lloyd said. “And that money stays with the local community. Banks benefit because the new IT specialists and the new cybersecurity specialist has to have a place to put their money here in Clarksville, so they put it in the bank. The bank then has more money, so that it can loan it out to others. Or the real estate agent. The real estate agent finds homes,” and more goods and services are purchased locally by the individual.
The office started in August, mostly setting up the office and starting to offer training classes, and had its grand opening on Monday. The results of the pandemic have even helped their goals, he added.
“Covid has actually supported our efforts because most of what everyone is doing is staying at home, working from home if they can,” Lloyd said. “And that’s exactly what we support. We want people to stay, not necessarily at home, but use our facility to perform remote work or remote support or stay at their house.”
The business also has mentors who remotely dial in to the classes, one out of Washington D.C., who has experience in the cyber security field and another who has a Ph.D. in lifeskills. The organization provides classes on basic cyber security to encourage everyone to be more careful on the internet. Lloyd, a veteran of the U.S. Army trained in cyber security, also said they work with veterans to help them re-train for jobs outside of the military. The organization also plans to work with schools.
He is also working on getting a grant through the Lennox Foundation to help expand services, he said.
He chose Clarksville for his work because he wants to help rural communities.
“Clarksville has been around a little while,” Lloyd said. “It needs rural revitalization in order to stay alive and succeed. Now the county here, and the city, they’re doing great job trying to revitalize the community, but there needs to be more businesses coming into this city. All rural America, quite frankly, everyone’s leaving the small cities, and this is where the all Americans are from my perspective. And … because my I want my son to be all American. I want him to grow up in a small town. Both my wife and I want him to be grounded and be where everybody-knows-your-name that type of thing.”
And, with the way the business/nonprofit is set up, if everything works according to plan, he will basically work himself out of a job.
“I’m in a very unique position to where God has blessed me and my family, enough so where I can make a honest earnest effort at trying to make this thing work. I’m expecting it will, and I’ll work myself right out of an executive director gig,” Lloyd said. “I want the nonprofit to get legs to grow and to move on without me, but keeping the same concept.”
And once the Clarksville office has legs, he wants to expand and do the same thing in Detroit, and the next town and the next.
The organization offers memberships, both business and personal, with wireless internet service, classes, an internet cafe for those who can’t work from home, and more. For information about the organization, go to cybersecurityteam6.org, email email@example.com, or call 903-884-4025.