Category Archives: News

Techtober and STEM initiatives

In September, NVTC and NOVA co-hosted a Northern Virginia Regional Commission (NVRC) roundtable discussion on Northern Virginia’s economic future at NOVA’s Annandale Campus. More than 80 business, education and elected leaders worked to develop a collaborative vision for moving our region forward. George Mason University and Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce also co-hosted the event.

Governor McAuliffe speaks at NOVA Annandale

Gov. Terry McAuliffe, speaking on many points from his “New Virginia Economy” Workforce Initiative (Executive Order 23, August 2014), delivered the keynote address. He spoke about new opportunities available in the tech space, and the education and talent needed to fill the demand.

“We’ve got 900,000 Virginians retiring in the next 10 years which will create 400,00 to 500,000 new jobs… 60% of those jobs will require less than a 4-year degree.” — Gov. Terry McAuliffe

He went on to talk about 15,000 veterans leaving active duty every year and needing new jobs; our veterans here in Virginia are highly skilled, well educated, and perfect for high-demand technology jobs. To date, the Governor’s Virginia Values Veterans (V3) program has seen 11,000 veterans hired in the Commonwealth. He has set a new target of 20,000 veterans placed in high-demand industries. (Visit the V3 program’s Facebook page.)

NVTC Chair Todd Stottlemyer, CEO of Inova Center for Personalized Health, expressed a critical need for education and industry to work together to develop workforce initiatives:

We must invest in strategies that retain talent, attract new people to our region, and support workforce initiatives to prepare our workers and support our businesses and growth industries. (read Mr. Stottlemeyer’s full remarks at NVTC.org)

Read more about the NVRC Roundtable discussion at NVTC’s Newsroom page.

Bringing STEM industry leaders and new talent together

On September 30, NOVA’s Workforce Development Division held our second STEM Career Fair, attracting several leading tech companies who are actively hiring new talent. Joe Montano, regional representative for Senator Tim Kaine, kicked off the fair by discussing the growing impact of STEM in Northern Virginia. Mr. Montano said that events like ours help address the need for talent to fill the more than 30,000 available STEM jobs in the region.

Many STEM-based companies were available at the fair, seeking to recruit and hire new talent from over 150 job-seekers who attended. Job seekers included NOVA students, veterans, career changers, and entry-level and experienced job seekers. (We featured short descriptions of the hiring companies in a previous post.) Some companies will return in the spring of 2016 for our next STEM Career Fair.

  • ABC Supply
  • Apple
  • ActioNet
  • Capital One
  • Dulles Glass and Mirror
  • Evolver
  • Fairfax County Department of Public Safety Communication
  • Honeywell
  • Leidos
  • Nordstrom
  • SAIC
  • Satnam Technologies
  • Southland Industries
  • National Student Clearing House
  • Bureau of Diplomatic Security
  • VSE Corporation

In addition to the companies above, NOVA’s Adult Career Pathways program, Extended Learning Institute (ELI), and Career Services were also on hand to assist job seekers. A Veteran’s Administration Mobile Vet Center was also on site to provide resources to attending veterans.

NOVA Career Services live-tweeted the event, and photos from the Career Fair are on Twitter (@NOVACareerServ) and Facebook (@NOVAWDD).

“The quality of the employers was outstanding, and I was delighted to hear that SAIC offered 18 students the opportunity to interview.” (Susan Baker, Special Assistant for Workforce Development)


GALLERY: Workforce Industry STEM Career Fair


Techtober

The NVRC roundtable discussion and STEM Career Fair were both held at NOVA’s Annandale Campus within one week of each other. Northern Virginia Community College is grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with both industry and government in the Commonwealth, and is working to meet many initiatives set forth by government-led goals and economic growth needs.

Virgina has the highest number of tech jobs per capita in the United States; most of those jobs are right here in Northern Virginia. On October 1, Governor McAuliffe delivered a proclamation on his website declaring October 2015 as Techtober, following a similar missive from his September 2014 press release,which highlighted Virginia’s innovation in the tech sector.  The Governor’s Techtober declaration:

  • WHEREAS, specialized, skilled, and technical jobs comprise more than 45% of Virginia’s labor market; and
  • WHEREAS, one out of every ten Virginia workers are directly employed in a technology field; and
  • WHEREAS, to build a workforce equipped for the New Virginia Economy, we must prepare citizens for the needs of an increasingly diverse business climate by giving them the skills and credentials that are needed in high demand, technology businesses and industry; and
  • WHEREAS, Virginia needs to build a better awareness of technical career pathways to meet the demands of the current and future employers;
  • WHEREAS, Techtober will kick off a statewide mentor pledge that focuses on business and industry mentors, internships and support to students and teachers; and
  • WHEREAS, more Virginia students, especially females and minorities, will learn about the technical fields during Techtober, with an emphasis on information technology; and
  • WHEREAS, Virginia will continue to be a leader in technologies that include: information technology, biotechnology, nanotechnology, manufacturing technology, health technology, aerospace technology and environmental technology;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terence R. McAuliffe, do hereby recognize October 2015 as Techtober in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.

Governor McAuliffe is calling for 8,700 jobs per year in the tech space between now and 2020. He would like to see Virginia remain in top standing in the United States for higher education, technology, and regional economic initiatives. “Regionalism works,” said McAuliffe, during the final moments of his speech at the NVRC Roundtable discussion.

Video_McAuliffe

NOVA Workforce Development Division is working on many new programs this fall, responding to the forecasted demand in STEM industries. Be sure to follow us on social media to keep up to date with new credentials, certificate programs, and partnerships!

 


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#IamUCC

Umpqua Community College | #IamUCC

Schools across the country are showing support for the students, staff, and families of Umpqua Community College.

On Thursday, October 8, 2015, community colleges across the United States will be observing a moment of silence in honor of the victims of the Umpqua Community College shooting on October 1 in Roseburg, Oregon.

IamUCC

Dr. Scott Ralls, Northern Virginia Community College president, has asked NOVA colleagues to join in the moment of silence, and use #IamUCC to show support for the victims:

The American Association of Community Colleges is inviting community colleges across the country to participate in a National Moment of Silence in honor of the victims of the shooting at Umpqua Community College.

I write to encourage you to join our community college colleagues across the nation in observing a moment of silence at 2:00 PM (ET) on Thursday, October 8, 2015. As a show of solidarity and support for our friends who are working to pick up the pieces on the UCC campus, you may also wish to use the #IamUCC hashtag to share your support via social media. In this way we can stand with them as they begin the healing process on their campus. Thank you for supporting Umpqua Community College in this way. —Dr. Scott Ralls, President, NVCC

AACCtweet

Governor’s grant program will help fund employee skills training for Virginia businesses

Throughout the U.S., there have been ongoing discussions about providing solutions to address the shortage of skilled workers for many in-demand jobs.

Here in Virginia, many businesses are providing innovative solutions to meet this skills gap. This private-sector dedication to workforce will now have an opportunity to receive state funds to leverage their investment in our Commonwealth’s workforce development. In June 2015, Governor Terry McAuliffe announced a $900,000 initiative to provide grants targeted to close a skills gap in key industry sectors.

“I am pleased to launch this grant program as part of my ongoing efforts to prepare Virginia’s workforce to do the jobs of today and create the jobs of tomorrow.  … it will take commitment and investment from both the public and private sectors to achieve this goal.  This grant competition is designed to encourage these partnerships.” (Governor McAuliffe)

Virginia's Governor McAuliffe

These state funds, available through Virginia’s Workforce System, will leverage private investment in workforce development. This pilot program, called the Governor’s Competition for Talent Solutions, encourages Virginia’s private sector businesses to take the lead on regional workforce solutions.

Detailed information is available online at www.vec.virginia.gov/competition-for-talent-solutions. An overview of the Governor’s Competition for Talent Solutions Program:

  • Pilot program to help private sector employers take the lead on developing the skills and credentials of their employees. Employers can work with community colleges and training providers to design and deliver workforce development programs.
  • Training focus is on Advanced Manufacturing, Information Technology, Cyber Security, Healthcare, Energy, Logistics, and Transportation. However, other sectors are welcome to apply as well.
  • Businesses in the same industry or businesses with the same skills requirements from different industries can combine their efforts to request funding.
  • $900,000 is available for training statewide. The state will match employers’ contribution up to the maximum individual grant award of $200,000.

Applications are due by September 30 to be considered for funding. Grant recipients will be announced October 23. Funds will be available to use for training from November 2015 to December 2017.

Northern Virginia Community College’s Workforce Development Division is happy to consult with employers to design a training program as part of the Governor’s Talent Solutions Grant. Contact us at NOVA_CustomizedTraining@nvcc.edu or call 703-323-3281.

 


Joe Matope is a Business Development Manager with NOVA Workforce Development Division, and works with employers to develop and deliver customized training solutions for their staff. For more information about NOVA Workforce Development Division’s customized training programs, contact Joe at jmatope@nvcc.edu.

Governor McAuliffe’s Latino Summit and Executive Order 20

On Wednesday, August 5, three people from NOVA’s Workforce Development Division attended Governor Terry McAuliffe’s Latino Summit, held at George Mason University’s Arlington Campus. Over 300 people attended, including key business, education, state, and local leaders.

The summit focused on the role the fast-growing Hispanic population plays in building a new Virginia economy. Breakout sessions featured topics of interest to businesses, community organizations, and educators; Workforce Development Division staff participated in two sessions:

Growing Your Businesses with the Commonwealth: The Department of General Services (DGS) provided an overview of Virginia’s eProcurement Portal (eVA) and demonstrated how businesses can register with the Commonwealth. The newly formed Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD) gave an overview of how they can better assist Latino businesses in Virginia’s procurement opportunities. In addition, SBSD highlighted Governor McAuliffe’s Executive Order 20, which advances equity for small, women and minority owned businesses (SWaM).

Empowering Latino Success Through Higher Education and Workforce Development: The State Council of Higher Education of Virginia (SCHEV) gave an overview of the students in Virginia attending college on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival status. In addition, Northern Virginia Community College highlighted articulation agreements between Community Colleges and 4 year Universities, and provided an overview of the Governor’s workforce initiative and his goal of increasing credentials by 50,000.

BLOG  | Workforce Development Division attends Governor McAuliffe's Latino Summit, August 5, 2015

Top: Governor McAuliffe recieved a standing ovation for his keynote speech.
Bottom: the Governor visited the NOVA Workforce Development Division table.

Governor McAuliffe was the keynote speaker for the summit, stating that his Administration is dedicated to developing and implementing policies for economic development, health care and education across the Commonwealth, and making sure the thriving Latino community is included.

“It is imperative that we have input from members of the Latino community if we plan to continue to build a new Virginia economy that our families and loved ones deserve.”

The Latino community, along with other small businesses, women-owned, businesses, and minority-owned businesses (all are considered part of SWaM businesses in Virginia), fuels a large part of Virginia’s economy, and Governor McAuliffe is dedicated to ensuring that these small businesses have a chance to compete with larger corporations in Virginia.

Executive Order 20:
Advancing Equity For Small, Women, And Minority Owned Businesses

In July 2014, Governor McAuliffe signed Executive Order 20, Advancing Equity for Small, Women, and Minority Owned Businesses, which requires state agencies to award at least 42 percent of contracts to SWaM businesses. The text of the Executive Order begins:

It is imperative for the Commonwealth of Virginia to maximize the participation of small businesses in state contractual work. For Virginia to remain competitive and continue to advance its small business goals, significant work still must be done for a more transparent, equitable, and inclusive process. Therefore, I am establishing a micro business designation within the small business certification and vital new state procurement initiatives.

With Commonwealth executive branch agencies urged to spend at least 42 percent of their budgets with SWaM businesses, the economy remains robust and competitive. For fiscal year 2013, SWaM businesses captured 34.8 percent ($2.03 billion) of the $ 5.83 billion total spent with contractors. In fiscal year 2014, the total capture was 32.3 percent ($1.81 billion).

As part of his keynote speech, Governor McAuliffe criticized Republican efforts to wipe out President Obama’s executive order that allows millions of people brought to the U.S. illegally as children to stay here and work—legally.

They talk about how some of our brightest students in the Commonwealth should be deported. Let me be very clear: I am one hundred percent against that. We should not be deporting any of our talent.

Attendees applauded the focus on better jobs and opportunities for Virginia’s Latino residents, and keeping talented, hard-working individuals here to help drive the economy forward.

Governor McAuliffe visited attending vendors, including NOVA WDD, and thanked everyone for their service to the Latino community, health, education, and Virginia’s economic development. We established connections with several attendees and learned about outreach opportunities with Northern Virginia businesses and social services organizations. We are looking forward to many more upcoming events and networking opportunities, and to next year’s Summit.

 


NOVA Workforce Development Division | Blog
Northern Virginia Community College’s Workforce Development Division is dedicated to improving Northern Virginia’s economic development and business landscape with a comprehensive variety of training options, including Professional Development, Certificate Programs, Enrichment Courses, Continuing Education, and Customized Training. Visit us online to learn more.

Fixing the Glitch: the face of cyber security

From cyberattacks to technology malfunctions, our private information is at risk every day. We have developed vast networks, security protocols, and automated processes to handle many of our daily tasks, and every industry–from military to finance to entertainment–has  critical vulnerabilities revealed by attacks on data and functionality. We are facing serious gaps in both technology and the manpower to fix it.

Fixing the Glitch: The Face of Cyber Security

Information Security = Job Security

Those with a degree or certification in information security have an excellent career outlook. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for Information Security Analysts is expected to grow 37% through 2022, well above the 11% projected growth rate for all occupations. Information security analysts also receive a median annual wage of $86,170, which is higher than the average $76,270 for all computer occupations. (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Dept. of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Ed., Information Security Analysts (visited July 13, 2015).

The path to these careers is found through both degree and certificate programs. Information security jobs are highly competitive, and require a comprehensive understanding of security and privacy throughout an organization’s technology network. IT security specialists set up and maintain their organization’s information security, from installing security software to responding to cyber attacks. And as cyber attacks become more sophisticated, approaches to information and network security must evolve in similar ways to counter the threat.

Growing a new cyber force

The Department of Defense outlined a new Cyber Strategy in April 2015, with a target of 133 Cyber Mission teams by 2018. The Mission Teams will have three primary goals: defending DoD networks, systems, and information; defending against cyberattacks; and providing cyber support to military plans.

We live in a time of growing cyber threats to U.S. interests. State and non-state actors threaten disruptive and destructive attacks against the United States and conduct cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property to undercut the United States’ technological and military advantage. …We must be dynamic, flexible, and agile in this work. We must anticipate emerging threats, identify new capabilities to build, and determine how to enhance our partnerships and planning. …By working together we will help protect and defend the United States and its interests in the digital age. (The DoD Cyber Strategy, PDF, April 2015)

To this end the Department of Defense, along with private sector and academic partners, hold annual Cyber Guard exercises that provide participants an opportunity to practice live cyber operations on a closed network against simulated adversaries. This approach blends industries with different backgrounds, to help share tactics in preparation for future cyberattacks on both government and the private sector.

Cyber Guard 2015, held in Suffolk, VA

Our area is becoming a hub for government cyber interests; the annual Cyber Guard exercise is growing rapidly each year, and the NSA and Defense Information Systems Agency have established a U.S. Cyber Command headquarters in Fort Meade, MD. From its inception in 2010, the Cyber Command staff has grown to just over 1,000; that number is expected to double over the next few years. The growth at Cyber Command has attracted the interest of technology companies in the area, including commercial tech and cybersecurity firms.

The White House has also recognized the need for more qualified candidates for technology jobs, especially positions in information technology and cybersecurity. Of the approximately 5 million available jobs in the U.S. today, almost a quarter are in IT fields such as software development and cybersecurity. Many of these jobs did not exist 10 years ago.

The average salary in a job that requires information technology (IT) skills … is 50 percent higher than the average private-sector American job. Helping more Americans train and connect to these jobs is a key element of the President’s middle-class economics agenda. …Employers across the United States are in critical need of talent with these skills. Many of these programs do not require a four-year degree. (“President Obama Launches New TechHire Initiative,” March 2015)

These jobs require skills that can be learned in industry-certified training programs, in months, not years. And they’re not solely in high-tech companies; many IT and cyber jobs are available in health care, retail, energy, financial services, or even transportation.

The TechHire initiative  is focused on connecting more Americans to available technology jobs in order to keep the U.S. competitive in a global economy. TechHire is working with over 300 employer partners to recruit, train, and place applicants in over 120,000 open technology jobs. In addition, TechHire is seeking to expand training models to create more fast-track learning opportunities to meet the growing need for a tech workforce.

Cyber Virginia

In February 2014, Governor Terry McAuliffe signed Executive Order No. 8, launching the Virginia Cyber Security Commission, recognizing the economic benefit to creating new cyber jobs in Virginia. According to CompTIA’s 2015 Cyberstates (February 2015), almost 1 in 10 of Virginia’s private-sector workers are in tech industries, with an average wage of $105,000 per year. The tech industry drives 8.6% of Virginia’s economy, with over 275,000 tech industry jobs throughout the state.

The Cybersecurity 500 List for Q2 2015, published in April 2015 by Cybersecurity Ventures, lists 39 Virginia-based companies. Only California has more companies on the list, with 150. Massachusetts is behind Virginia with 35 companies. Steve Morgan, Founder and CEO of Cybersecurity Ventures, contemplates Virginia as a hotbed for cybersecurity:

Demand for vendor-furnished information security products and services by the U.S. federal government will increase from $7.8 billion in FY 2014 to $10.0 billion in 2019 … according to Deltek’s Federal Information Security Market Report (published Oct. 2014)…. When you consider these market-sizing estimates and projections, which align to the federal sector – and all of the federal agencies that are headquartered in Virginia – it explains a lot. (Virginia is for Cybersecurity, July 7, 2015)

With all the companies in Virginia dedicated to advancing cybersecurity and new technologies for information networks, there is an accompanying need for a trained workforce to fill these positions. The “Techtopia” map below, provided by Northern Virginia Technology Council, shows the concentration of tech and cyber companies in Northern Virginia.

techtopiaVA

Become a cyber professional

In April I discussed the job outlook for cybersecurity professionals and NOVA’s Workforce Development Division dedication to addressing the skills gap here in Northern Virginia. To meet the growing need for Information and Cybersecurity professionals in the area, our Cyber Security certificate program includes entry-, mid-, and advanced-level certificates in Cyber Security. We have many IT and computer skills certificates available to IT professionals who are already working in Information Security, and provide customized training to organizations who need to advance skills of IT staff. For information on our cybersecurity certificate programs, call 703-948-3703.

 


NOVA Workforce Development Division | Blog
Northern Virginia Community College’s Workforce Development Division is dedicated to improving Northern Virginia’s economic development and business landscape with a comprehensive variety of training options, including Professional Development, Certificate Programs, Enrichment Courses, Continuing Education, and Customized Training. Visit us online to learn more.