This past week, nonprofit, nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service and global management consulting firm Boston Consulting Group released the Best Places to Work findings. The survey results indicated that leadership throughout the federal government was responsive in an emergency situation. Attracting and retaining talent in the federal government is still challenging, but leadership that proves its abilities to listen and respond in the face of adversity goes a long way in earning trust and interest for candidates. But NASA earned the top stop for best, large agency for the ninth year in a row. The Intelligence Community placed second on the leader board. Both agencies proving that you can have a cool job that gives you bragging rights AND have a decent employer in the mix too. Sometimes, you don’t have to choose in life.

Contract Opportunities to Watch

PAE NASA has selected PAE Applied Technologies LLC of Fort Worth, Texas, to provide facilities operations and maintenance support services at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

The cost-plus-award-fee core contract, with firm fixed-price and cost-plus-fixed-fee IDIQ task orders, begins September 1 and continues through August 31, 2023, followed by two options that total three years. The contract has a maximum potential value of $402 million if all options are exercised.

Under the contract, PAE Applied Technologies will be responsible for providing maintenance, operations, engineering, and construction of facilities support for Johnson, as well as the nearby Sonny Carter Training Facility and Ellington Field, both managed by Johnson. Similar facilities-related services may be provided at other NASA centers and government agencies throughout the United States under indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity task orders.

Key Employer in the Cleared Industry

Northrop Grumman At Northrop Grumman, you can visualize a career that can take you places, build your skills, and grow – not just for a project, but for a career. Discover a role that’s right for you. Explore opportunities.

Cleared Job of the Week

Aerospace Engineer Aerospace engineering is a career with high earning potential and a lot of career options. To start, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in engineering, mathematics, or physics. But that’s just the beginning. Most jobs also require a master’s degree too. However, if you know right away that aerospace engineering is the right path for you, you can find schools with a combined,  five-year bachelor’s and master’s program. And the master’s will give you a glimpse into R&D work that will help round out your resume.

The options in aerospace engineering vary between manufacturing focus to high level design. But whatever the niche role you pick, your problem-solving skills will get called into action, along with risk mitigation skills. As the industry continues to change, new technologies and regulations are a factor. But the job opportunities in aerospace engineering in national security are sky high.

While cleared, aerospace engineering jobs are all around the country, it helps to live near an Air Force or Space Force base. With thousands of open positions, aerospace engineers can find jobs supporting the Air Force, NASA, and other agencies in the DoD.

Growth Opportunities

CMMC continues to be a hot topic for the defense industrial base. Everyone agrees that a breach is undesirable, but meeting the requirements is proving to be challenging for some in the defense industry. Small businesses argue that the timelines for implementation and associated costs could remove them from the defense industrial base. No one wants that to happen; however, with a five-tier range, contractors also do not need to be at level five right out of the gate. Michael Dunbar, a small business president who testified on behalf of HUBZone Contractors National Council says that small business owners are worried about the costs and have felt that messaging from the DoD about CMMC has been confusing at times to decipher.

According to Matthew Travis, CEO CMMC Accreditation Body, comments have rolled in about the challenge of explaining CMMC, but the DoD is ready to come alongside contractors with implementation support. Getting controlled unclassified information (CUI) requirements solidified and shoring up cyber concerns is a top concern.

As implementation plans continue to roll out, Kratos Defense and Security Solutions recently became a certified third-party assessment organization (C3PO). “CMMC will be a critical component of heightened security as all companies will need to pass strict CMMC security assessments before being awarded DOD contracts,” said Phil Carrai, president of space, training and cyber division at Kratos.

There may be pushback, but by 2026, all CMMC requirements will be in contracts – for the whole supply chain.


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Jillian Hamilton has worked in a variety of Program Management roles for multiple Federal Government contractors. She has helped manage projects in training and IT. She received her Bachelors degree in Business with an emphasis in Marketing from Penn State University and her MBA from the University of Phoenix.