Mike Trebilcock, MCPc’s chairman, credits Michael Victor, president of Mercyhurst University in Erie, with the inspiration, but clearly it was only a matter of time for these two entrepreneurs to find each other.
The Security Operations Center at Mercyhurst, or SOC, will serve MCPc’s customers in Pennsylvania, New York and all points east. Its secondary function will be as a disaster recovery site for the company. However, the real excitement of the facility is the way it acts as a hands-on, real-world training center for Mercyhurst students who want to enter the cyber field.
To that end, MCPc is teaming with Mercyhurst’s Ridge College of Intelligence Studies and Applied Sciences, which offers what the university describes as a unique approach to cybercrime. Students in the Ridge College program will be taught and trained in the MCPc Cyberlab that is adjacent to the MCPc SOC, where students can advance to serve as paid associates in their concluding years of college.
President Victor described the partnership with MCPc and the training and employment opportunities it provides students as “a gift that keeps giving.”
“What set Mercyhurst apart for me was the way Michael Victor approaches education,” Mr. Trebilcock said. “It is grounded in the liberal arts, but is also focused on job preparation and meeting the needs of companies like MCPc.”
The cyberlab at Mercyhurst will have more than 20 seats for training while the SOC will have 16 seats for students whom MCPc employs and manages while they are in school. MCPc CIO, Dale Phillips, who is also overseeing construction and oversight of MCPc Mercyhurst, describes the facility as every bit as advanced as any SOC anywhere. “We have never been known to do things half-hearted. This is as good as it gets anywhere. The NSA would be proud to have this facility,” he said, referring to the National Security Agency, where many Mercyhurst graduates eventually find employment.