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Careers the focus of Tuesday’s Germanna Workforce Intelligence and Homeland Security Summit

MORE: Read more news from Fredericksburg

Scott Weber (right), a national security analyst for CNBC, Fox News, CNN and BBC Television and Dr. Cedric Sims. executive director of the Program Accountability and Risk Management Office within the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Under Secretary for Management talk during a breakout session at Germanna's last Intelligence & Homeland Security Summit.

Germanna Center for Workforce to host national security careers summit May 1 in Culpeper

 The Germanna Community College Center for Workforce & Community Education will host an Intelligence & Homeland Security Summit from 8:45 a.m. to noon on May. 1 at GCC’s Daniel Center in Culpeper.   The Center for Workforce hosted a similar event in Fredericksburg in December that attracted 165 people looking into switching careers, students seeking information about careers in the growing field of national security and business leaders seeking to learn about opportunities related to homeland security and to network.

 Dr. Jeanne Wesley, Germanna’s vice president for Workforce &  Community Education & Institutional Effectiveness, said the Culpeper conference will feature a panel discussion and breakout sessions by recently retired senior executives from the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, Secret Service, National Reconnaissance Office, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency and  contractors who serve those agencies.
  “This is an event that can change the lives of people who need to switch careers, and that we hope will open the minds of young people in Culpeper and Madison and Orange to the fact that there are no limits to what you can do and how far you can go ,” Dr. Wesley said.”National security is a growing and exciting field, both on the public and private sector sides.”

 Seats, at $20, are limited and those interested in attending should call 540/891-3012 for reservations and go for more information. Germanna students and area high school students with student ID may attend free, but must make reservations.

 The event will be moderated by Rob Zitz, a former Deputy Undersecretary of national programs and protection at the Department of Homeland Security. He has also served in senior executive positions at the CIA, NGA, Secret Service  NRO and other agencies.  Zitz grew up in Fredericksburg, where he attended James Monroe High. 

 A panel discussion will  provide an insider’s perspective on the agencies and the career and business opportunities they offer. Breakout sessions on the intelligence community, the Department of Homeland Security  and information technology, including cyber security, will follow.

 Cyber attacks are now considered by some to be the most grave threat to national security. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has warned Congress that “the next Pearl Harbor” is likely to be a cyberattack.

 Because of threats like that, the Department of Homeland Security is hiring despite the slow economic recovery.

DHS has a $50 billion budget for 500 programs,  Rob Zitz said at December’s summit.

He said, the official federal government jobs site, lists hundreds of pages of DHS job openings, many of those pages in Virginia, Washington and Maryland. “They are hiring, but it’s importantyou have the skills,” he said at the previoussummit. Often, career-switchers can make themselves more marketable to DHS by simply picking up a certification or taking a class. He said Germanna offers many courses that can quickly make an applicant attractive to agencies.

Germanna’s Center for Workforce & Community Education is broadening offerings that will help area people get DHS and intelligence community jobs.

GCC President David A. Sam said the college is continually pivoting to match curriculum with existing job openings

Dr. Wesley said Germanna’s Center for Workforce already offers many of the courses and certifications needed for an entry level job, career switch or career advancement in intelligence and homeland security. She mentioned cyber security, Cisco network certification, network security and information systems security. She noted that GCC also offers a Police Science degree and other IT degrees that could lead to homeland security jobs.

 Rob Zitz said at the December summit that “Germanna is a tremendous asset” to national security because of the trainingalready offers because it allows adults asking “How can I take my life skills and what I’ve learned in the past and package them in a way that helps” DHS to do so quickly.
  He also said that community college students should realize the door is open to them. “DHS doesn’t care where you started college, just where you finish. You don’t have to be an Ivy Leaguer. There are lots of different kinds of opportunities, and they’re looking for people who have the fire in their belly and are capable of thinking outside the box. There are many students like that at Germanna.”

 “At DHS, there are so many job opportunities in so many fields,” Cedric J. Sims, a senior executive who has over seen $6.8 billion in IT investments across DHS and has also been a leader with the Secret Service, said at the previous summit.

 “You really can change the world,” said Al League, a former leader in the geospatial intelligence community, member of the Senior Executive Service for Defense Intelligence and winner of the Service to America Medal for National Security and International Affairs who will be a summit panelist Culpeper. “You can influence people–help senior leaders and decision-makers do the right thing.”

Germanna Community College

Intelligence & Homeland Security Summit

Daniel Technology Center, Culpeper


May 1, 2012


 8:45        Registration and Networking     


9:15     Welcome and introduction of Summit Moderator


                Dr. David Sam, President, Germanna Community College


9:20      Introduction of Distinguished Panelists and Overview of the


               Intelligence Community and Homeland Security fields


                Rob Zitz, former Deputy Under Secretary of DHS and Intelligence Community veteran



               Panelists’ Perspectives


•              Al League, former Naval Intelligence officer, former senior executive in theIntelligence Community; industry executive, expert in information technologies


•             Eric Zitz, industry professional linking intelligence to Homeland Security missions


•             David Broadhurst, founder of  National Geospatial Intelligence College; former NGA Human Development Director, industry executive advisor


10:50   Break


11:05   Breakout sessions for focused questions and answers


•             Homeland Security


•             Intelligence Community


•             Information Technologies          


•            11:50     Closing remarks


12:00     Adjourn

Seats, at $20, are limited and those interested in attending should call 540/891-3012 for reservations and go for more information. Germanna students and area high school students with student ID (or a school document and any photo ID) may attend free, but must make reservations.