Supporting the future of cybersecurity doesn’t always have to be a drag. Sometimes, you get to play golf in support of cybersecurity. While Huntsville, AL had planned a championship tournament last year for the Korn Ferry Tour, that of course was canceled with everything else in 2020, it is now back on for April 29-May 2 at The Ledges. The silver lining to the tournament delay is the formation of the Fore Cyber Progress Scholarship Program. The scholarship is a partnered effort with the Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville, the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Alabama A&M University, Huntsville and Madison City Schools, Madison County Schools and corporate partners in the Department of Defense or government contracting space on this new initiative.
The press release stated, “Through the partnership, the tournament seeks to create a more cost-efficient engagement solution for the DoD/government contracting community of the Rocket City, support strategic cyber development initiatives, encourage high school level students to participate and excel in cyber education curriculum as well as maintain a positive GPA and develop a sustainable financial scholarship fund for Huntsville’s higher education institutions.”
As Alabama’s presence grows in the national security world, it’s important to grow the talent in areas that will continually be hiring challenges. Playing the long game in creating a larger talent pool is an important step in becoming a prime location.
Layoffs Impacting the Cleared Industry
|Recently, Google closed its Stadia gaming development studios. Estimates for jobs lost were around 150.
“Given our focus on building on the proven technology of Stadia as well as deepening our business partnerships, we’ve decided that we will not be investing further in bringing exclusive content from our internal development team SG&E, beyond any near-term planned games,” Phil Harrison said in a blog post. “Over the coming months, most of the SG&E team will be moving on to new roles. We’re committed to working with this talented team to find new roles and support them.”
While layoffs have been common during COVID-19, this next year could usher in lawsuits against companies that did not follow proper procedures. Law dictates that organizations with more than 100 employees are required to give 60 days notice – in majority of the cases. However, natural disasters – like COVID-19 can provide an exception to the rule. Recent federal court decisions provide a reminder to companies that the WARN Act obligations may not be optional – even during a pandemic. It’s a good reminder to involve legal in any layoff decisions – no matter how straightforward they might seem on paper.
Hiring impacting the Cleared Industry
|TSA||The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) expects a very different summer ahead. While 2020 ushered in workforce reductions, it seems like there might be a light at the end of the tunnel. TSA is looking to fill 6,000 travel security officers (TSO)s by summer 2021.
“TSOs are a critical first-line defense in securing our nation’s commercial air transportation system…Each day, our officers screen hundreds of thousands of airline travelers ensuring they arrive at their destinations safely. We expect to screen a higher number of travelers regularly by the summer months and will need additional officers to support our critical mission.” -Melanie Harvey, acting Executive Assistant Administrator for TSA’s Security Operations.
|Infinity Labs LLC||With several large contract wins, Dayton area defense contractor, Infinity Labs, has plans to expand. Despite just launching in July 2020, the company has tripled in sized, adding new hires every month.
“2020 was about building a foundation, and now that the foundation is laid, 2021 is really about growth,” Infinity Labs CEO Ken Edge said.
Cleared Employer at Work: Amazon
Opportunity to Watch
The Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA) recognizes HawkEye 360 Inc.’s Darek Kawamoto with the Edwin H. Land Industry Award. This award recognizes early-to-miid career contractors or non-government employees for their “excellent contributions to the intelligence, homeland security or national security community.” Kawamuto is a principal engineer for algorithms at HawkEye 360, and he is the inventor of two of the company’s patents.
“We value him not just for his superb technical abilities but for his persistence, innovativeness and commitment to team success,” HawkEye 360 CEO John Serafini said in a statement. “He is an incredible asset for HawkEye 360 and, as this award suggests, for the nation.”
While HawkEye 360 started in just 2015, the Herndon, VA-based contractor has a vision to being the world’s leader of spectrum-based geoanalytics. HawkEye 360 prides itself on its strong team of leaders and experts in space systems, software engineering, data science, geospatial analytics, and more.