News in Brief

Census, cyber, satellites and soccer

Shutterstock image: looking for code.

Symantec eyes non-college cyber workers

Software firm Symantec is taking a crack at the cybersecurity workforce shortage through a program that trains young adults for cyber jobs that don’t necessarily require a college degree.

The training program will begin with pilot projects in San Jose, Calif.; Baltimore, Md.; and New York City, said Symantec, which has about 18,500 employees.

The program will include “a mix of classroom education and soft skills development, followed by on-the-job experience during cybersecurity internships,” the Mountain View, Calif.-based firm said in a statement. After completing internships, students can apply for full-time, entry-level cybersecurity positions.

The training program is part of a youth employment initiative unveiled this week by the Clinton Global Initiative, a development forum founded by former President Bill Clinton.

“There is an enormous global shortage of trained cybersecurity professionals, even though some jobs can be done without a four-year college degree,” Aled Miles, a senior vice president at Symantec, said in a statement.

Census launches online test

The U.S. Census Bureau this week launched an effort to get households to self-report using a secure, online questionnaire. The bureau is testing technology that it might deploy for the massive 2020 nationwide enumeration to save money on field operations, including door-to-door visits and paper questionnaires.

The mailer went out to about 200,000 households in Washington, D.C., and neighboring Montgomery County in Maryland, including the home of at least one FCW reporter. It's not exactly subtle: a bolded, call-caps notice on the envelope alerts recipients that, "YOUR RESPONSE IS REQUIRED BY LAW." Those who opt to respond online are asked to provide and email address, and are given a four-digit code for security purposes. This is for users who don't complete the quiz in one sitting and need to return to their page.

Once the form is completed, user access to the Census account is apparently suspended. The Bureau collects the names, ages and ethnic background of all household residents, as well as information on individuals who might be staying temporarily at a particular dwelling, or are away for work or school, or incarcerated. Recipients who cannot or do not wish to participate online are directed to provide their information by phone.

DHS could see small funding bump

The Department of Homeland Security would get a modest overall budget increase for FY2015, based on the bill approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The funding measure provides $47.2 billion for fiscal 2015 -- $643 million above fiscal 2014 levels. The committee said in a statement that of the total, $45.65 billion is for discretionary programs, including $213 million for Coast Guard overseas contingency operations and $6.4 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Disaster Relief Fund. Excluding those two adjustments, the net discretionary appropriation for DHS is $39 billion. Though the figure is higher than last year's, DHS discretionary appropriations have dropped by 8.3 percent since fiscal 2010.

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), chairwoman of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, said in a statement that the increase in funding would allow FEMA to restore its flood mapping program -- a long-standing need for the agency.

SBIRS satellite contract worth $1.86 billion for Lockheed

Defense Systems reports that the Air Force has awarded Lockheed Martin a $1.86 billion contract to finish production of the fifth and sixth satellites for the Space Based Infrared System, which provides ballistic missile early warning and infrared surveillance to up and down the chain of command.

More proof that soccer is the global game

The soccer field isn't the only place the United States and Germany are facing off; there's also some friendly competition on the International Space Station. Thursday's World Cup game pitted NASA's Reid Wiseman and Steve Swanson against the European Space Agency's Alexander Gerst, from Germany. Despite being 200 miles above Earth, the trio was reportedly still tuning in for Thursday's game.

NASA has jumped on the World Cup bandwagon this year -- creating a World Cup landing page, and using its satellite technology to capture photos of the Cup host cities in Brazil.

About the Author

Connect with the FCW staff on Twitter @FCWnow.

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.


  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group